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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Land & politics in Namibia
Author:Melber, HenningISNI
Year:2005
Periodical:Review of African Political Economy
Volume:32
Issue:103
Pages:135-142
Language:English
Geographic term:Namibia
Subjects:economic inequality
land law
Link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/03056240500121065
Abstract:In present-day Southern African societies, gross inequalities in access to and possession of land are a reflection of the inherited structural legacies of an apartheid system. At the end of February 2004, Namibia's prime minister, Theo Ben Gurirab, confirmed the government's new policy approach to the land issue: from now on the government would expropriate land owned by white farmers. This briefing looks behind and beyond the current rhetoric and revisits land as 'contested territory'. The issue is viewed within the context of the postcolonial ideology under a former liberation movement, which now embraces a strategy of populist rhetoric to cover its own policy failures. This places socioeconomic policy within an increasingly narrow-minded nationbuilding discourse. The land issue emerges as a tempting political tool for manipulation and social engineering, instead of addressing in the first place a long overdue material redistribution as an integral part of a coherent process to reduce the gross inequalities within a fundamentally nonegalitarian society. Bibliogr. [ASC Leiden abstract]
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