Project

The Political Economy of Southern Rhodesia (colonial Zimbabwe) Revenue Collection and Expenditure, 1890-1953

Program

African Humanities Program Postdoctoral Fellowships

Department

International Studies Group (ISG)

Abstract

Drawing on extensive coverage of archives in Zimbabwe, Britain and South Africa, the proposed study examines the development of colonial Zimbabwe’s fiscal system from 1890 to 1953. It argues that the fiscal system in colonial Zimbabwe depended on the political and administrative structure put in place by the government and, conversely, the fiscal system also shaped the political, social and economic development of the colony. Linking public finance to state formation, the study illustrates how the government financed various economic projects and administration. Many scholars focusing on Zimbabwe colonial development have tended to examine economic, social and political development using sectors such as agriculture, mining, industrial development and trade. The proposed monograph provides not only an alternative but also a complementary way to understand the country’s development. Apart from significantly contributing to Zimbabwe’s fiscal history, it joins broader regional and international historiographical debates.