Transitions in Namibia: Which Changes for Whom?

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Henning Melber
Stylus Pub Llc, 2007 - Social Science - 262 pages
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The first volume on "Re-examining liberation in Namibia" (2003) concentrated on the political culture since Independence. This second collection of essays, which completes the research, adds to the widely recognized and praised effort to critically assess the achievements and failures of the erstwhile German and South African colony under a liberation movement in political power. It complements the preceding collection by mainly assessing the material aspects of decolonization and its limitations with reference to the empirical social realities. The contributors are scholars and civil society activists mainly based in Namibia or working extensively on and in the country. Their analyses are guided by a commitment to the Namibian people and the declared goals of social emancipation as formulated during the anti-colonial struggle. The chapters deal with legal aspects of the new system, the strategies of a new elite, the continued social disparities, forms of exploitation and marginalization, land as a contested issue, the integration of ex-combatants, the role of youth, decentralization and regional development, urban deprivation, HIV/Aids, gendered violence and other forms of discrimination. The insights add to the body of knowledge concerning negotiated and controlled change with a transfer of political power to former liberation movements particularly in Southern Africa. It is thought-provoking when it comes to the necessary reflections on the limits to liberation and is of interest and use to scholars, activists and practitioners alike.

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About the author (2007)

Henning Melber is Senior Adviser and Director Emeritus of The Dag Hammarskjold Foundation, Uppsala, Sweden. He is also Extraordinary Professor at both the University of Pretoria and at the Centre for Africa Studies, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa.

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