Tanzania has undergone major phases of structural transformation since independence in 1961, underscoring the quest by the political leadership to improve the quality of life of the citizenry. The Arusha Declaration in 1967 was a major milestone when Tanzania adopted socialism and self-reliance as the primary ideological framework for the national development strategy. Nearly two decades later, there was another turning point towards the capitalist path especially with the acceptance of economic and political liberalization that was in vogue in most parts of Africa at that time.
These changes have been a subject of different interpretations amongst scholars and practitioners alike. Whether or not Tanzania has succeeded in achieving its initiatives is not the crux of the matter at this stage. What is important, however, is the unique nature of the transition in Tanzania. Unlike most countries in Africa, Tanzania’s socialist experiment was relatively most serious and enduring under the tenacious leadership of the late Julius Nyerere. Indeed, attempts were made in Tanzania to transcend the usual rhetoric and a lip-service that characterized the other socialist regimes in Mozambique, Angola, Ethiopia, and Somalia that were, in any case, too bogged down in violent conflicts for extended periods to be able to demonstrate comparably and adequately their commitment to socialism.
Thus, when the Tanzanian political leadership ultimately succumbed to the prodding by the multilateral and bilateral agencies to shift gear and reorient economic management in the opposite direction, it is not only dramatic but it calls for closer examination to fully comprehend the nature of the transition to capitalism in Tanzania and what it has portended over the last two decades. Similar transitions in the former Eastern Bloc have taken place with far-reaching political and socio-economic implications that have been noted prolifically by the scholarly community. Yet, the Tanzania’s transition has not received similar attention that has left many questions unanswered, particularly whether the organic laws of motion that have applied in post-socialist Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union are also relevant in the Tanzania’s case. Of particular interest are issues that relate to the extent of the market-oriented reforms, safeguards for equity and social justice, changeover from state enterprises to indigenous private sector and multinational corporations, rent seeking and corruption, challenges to institutionalization of liberal democracy , and the change in societal orientation to the new capitalist order.
To deepen understanding for both academic and policy purposes, a need has been identified to critically examine in a structured and analytical manner the transition to capitalism in Tanzania. Informing this attempt is a framework of analysis that is premised on the fundamental changes taking place in Tanzania that are not dissimilar to what has gone on in the former Soviet bloc, mutatis mutandis, with regard to transition to capitalism.
Therefore, scholarly papers are solicited to address questions and issues on Tanzania’s transition based on the following themes and any other relevant ones:
1. State, market and economic policy in Tanzania since the 1980s with special reference to economic reforms, liberalization and their impacts; the agrarian question; changing role of the state; and emerging pattern of class relations.
2. State enterprises and private sector development since the 1980s particularly the privatization of state enterprises; public service reforms; development of small- and medium scale enterprises; and changing pattern of MNCs-led foreign direct investments.
3. Equity and social justice in Tanzania since the 1980s especially the widening income inequality and policy implications; trends in employment opportunities; and policy changes in the provision of health and education services; and poverty alleviation initiatives.
4. Rent seeking and corruption in Tanzania since the 1980s with a focus on changing pattern and impact of rent seeking and corruption; and role and effectiveness of the anti-corruption laws and institutions.
5. Capitalism and democratization process in Tanzania since the 1990s taking special interest in the transition to multi-partyism and the impact on democratization; changing role of the media; electoral process and emerging challenges; rule of law, human rights and governance; role of civil society; and reinventing the executive, parliament, and judiciary for enhanced accountability.
6. Capitalism and Society in Tanzania with emphasis on the emerging change in the national cultural orientation; the role of national language in a capitalist society; the pattern of leadership roles and ethics; societal values, norms and social institutions.
The papers will be presented and discussed in a two-day conference in Dodoma in early 2010 and this will be communicated at a later date to the invited participants.
Time frames: abstracts/proposals of not more than 300 words to be submitted by 9th October, 2009 for approval, and draft papers, each less than 8000 words (12-[point font) to be expected not later than 11th December, 2009.
A number of quality papers will be selected and published in the proposed book, Transition to Capitalism in Tanzania, and the others will appear in a special issue of the peer-reviewed, The Journal of Social Science (a publication of the University of Dodoma).
Those interested to contribute papers for the proposed publications are invited to send by email their abstracts/proposals by 9th October, 2009, to:
Prof. Amukowa Anangwe, School of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science & Sociology, University of Dodoma, PO Box 259, Dodoma, Tanzania. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Anangwe@udom.ac.tz
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