African Yin and Yang: A comparative study explaining the contrasting political and economic developmental paths of Botswana and Zimbabwe
MetadataShow full item record
Since their independence from colonization, neighbouring countries Botswana and Zimbabwe have taken very different paths. Botswana is seen by many scholars as the role model for developing African countries, while Zimbabwe is stricken by poverty and corruption. Different explanations has been given like ethnic differences, North-South relations and colonial heritage have been given. In this thesis I try to expand the theory on the differences between Botswana and Zimbabwe based on different colonial heritage and try to include pre-colonial factors, while placing an emphasis on agency. I argue that at independence, Botswana had much more potential to develop its economy and democracy. This was due to the survival of a pre-colonial democratic state structure and minimal colonial involvement. In contrast, Zimbabwean government inherited a corrupt colonial state apparatus and a defragmented traditional state culture. Crucial part in the further development of the two countries was agency, in the form of good or bad governance. I use the theoretical framework of North et al. about social orders to make a comparative analysis of the pre-colonial, colonial and post-colonial society of the two countries. This analysis provides an insight into the influence of pre-colonial and colonial agency and structure on post-colonial developments. It shows why pre-colonial factors have to be included in the analysis of post-colonial development and why in the case of Botswana and Zimbabwe only colonial factors fail to do so.