Politics of economic liberalisation in urban Tanzania

Bulbul Dhar
This thesis examines the political responses of urban Tanzanians to the policies of economic liberalisation implemented since the late 1980s by the Government of Tanzania as part of the Structural Adjustment Programme sponsored by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. It also examines their political responses to the issue of multiparty politics. The argument is that even though Structural Adjustment has been initiated in Tanzania, it crucially needs public support to engender the
more » ... kind of government commitment and capability that is required to enable the government to implement it fully. It looks at three categories of respondents, those of the urban lower classes, those in the government and party bureaucracy and those in the educational and media sectors, who form part of the intelligentsia. The analysis is based on fieldwork carried out in the three major towns of Dar-es-Salaam, Arusha and Dodoma where open-ended interviews were conducted with more than 290 citizens. One wide-spread response to the economic hardship, since the early 1980s, has been to work in the informal sector, which along with the illegal underground economy, has been termed the Second Economy. The responses largely indicate a willingess to put up with the hardships imposed by the economic austerity of the liberalisation measures, over and above that caused by the economic crisis of the early and mid-1980s. But whether this public tolerance will continue in the absence of further short-term benefits is not clear. Also, regarding the moves towards political liberalisation and multiparty politics, these late-1980s developments are seen as improving governance, with a general feeling being that it has served to improve the functioning of the single-party. But clearly urban Tanzanians do not feel that more parties means greater democracy. However, the related phenomena of 'disengagement' from the state and the 'informalisation' of the economy, with their diversion of state resources including human capital away from the formal ec [...]
doi:10.25501/soas.00028951 fatcat:yrgrzhlykzhufaore3fejoolsm