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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Political parties in contemporary Zambia: a view from within
Author:Tobolka, Radim
Periodical:Modern Africa: Politics, History and Society (ISSN 2336-3274)
Geographic term:Zambia
Subjects:political parties
political ideologies
Abstract:This article examines the organization of Zambian political parties via the extended case method of the reflexive science model (Burawoy 1998). 23 in-depth interviews with party members and activists were conducted in three Zambian provinces around the time of the tripartite general elections in 2011. The inter-subjective encounters focused on the parties' dayto-day functioning and were used to construe a model of party members' lifeworld and its connections to macro-social forces studied by positive science. The study describes the Zambian political party scene as a 'one party multipartism' that is characterized by a lack of organizational cohesion and party switching of both individuals and structures. Using this interpretation as a springboard, the second part initiates a theoretical discussion of party ideology, party - voter interface, the dynamics of non-cohesive party competition, and the role of informal politics in the party's internal organization. A picture emerges of political parties that are well adapted to the environment in which they operate and that strategically use a full range of symbolic, organizational, and financial resources available to them. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum [Journal abstract]