Accepted paper:

Power connections and disruption. Democratic backsliding as a result of changing elite coalitions or continuation? The case of Tanzania


Jonas Ewald (Linneaus University)

Paper short abstract:

The paper argue that the current democratic backsliding in Tanzania can be explained by a a combination of structural change and disruption of earlier elite coalitions in combination with the strong presidency of John Magufuli

Paper long abstract:

Tanzania is an interesting case of a peaceful development in a region where, almost, all neighbours has experienced protracted violent conflicts, built on a coalition of narrow elites led by CCM, the dominant party since independence. The underlying structural change of the Tanzanian society has created a more complex and diversified economy, rapid urbanization and expansion of secondary and tertiary education has created a more diversified class structure, an emerging middle class and new elites - and increased expectations. Political mobilization by the opposition led to that the ruling party won the elections in 2015 with the smallest margins since the multiparty system was introduced 1994. The democratization process has been challenged since the elections in 2015 of President Magufuli. The political space has narrowed down, in the name of creating a more effective transformation of Tanzania to an industrialised middle-income economy to 2025. Based on a political settlement approach the paper argues that the President Magufuli has built his power on a disruption of the old power network and created a partly new elite-network. The paper is built on field works in the period 2016-April 2019.

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Convergences and divergences of African state-making trajectories