Corruption, Coercion, and Consent in Zimbabwe’s Elections: On Mugabe’s Mode of Political Production

Event Details

Elections can be a measure of corruption and a particular ruling group’s hegemony – Gramsci’s ‘intellectual and moral leadership’ generally accepted as ‘natural’ and gained by much more consent than coercion. Yet Gramsci conceded that ‘corruption/fraud’ stands ‘between consent and force … when it is hard to exercise the hegemonic function, and when the use of force is too risky’.
Zimbabwe’s 2023 election encouraged David Moore to consider the imbrication of elections and corruption whilst countries like it hover in ‘development’s’ uncertain interregna – the indeterminate times between the reigns of relatively cohesive (or hegemonic) modes of production and power – and what policy implications might evolve therefrom.
In this seminar, Moore will discuss the relationship between African elections and corruption through this paper and his book Mugabe’s Legacy: Coups, Conspiracies and the Conceits of Power in Zimbabwe.

Presenter: David Moore retired recently as professor of Development Studies at the University of Johannesburg. He worked previously at Canada’s Athabasca University, Australia’s Flinders, and Durban’s University of KwaZulu-Natal, and is a fellow of Clare Hall at Cambridge. His Mugabe’s Legacy … is based on 40 years of research, including every election since 2000. His articles on a morbid (‘pre-election political’) murder in Zimbabwe, and a short history of Zimbabwean elections as measures of hegemony, are forthcoming in Transformation and the Journal of African Elections.

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Amita Monterola

Research Communications Coordinator at the Development Policy Centre.