State Surveillance: Political Temporalities and Everyday ‘Governmentality’ in Zimbabwe


African Humanities Program Postdoctoral Fellowships


Social Sciences (Sociology)


Post-independence African states continue to do surveillance on citizens. This book examines the ways in which everyday state surveillance is experienced and negotiated by ordinary citizens within an evolving political terrain from 1963 when the Rhodesian government established FISB to the post-Mugabe regime. While state surveillance is not new both in theory and practice, this book examines how the state instrumentalises it for governmentality in contexts of protracted political crisis. This book particularly explores the deployment of secret plain-clothed government spies in various spaces. By deploying intelligence operatives, the ZANU-PF government consolidates political hegemony over opposition political parties. While surveillance is a ‘technique of control’, this book analyses the ways in which citizens creatively negotiate and resist surveillance. The deployment of rudimentary forms of surveillance creates an environment of ‘quite insecurity’ which reconfigures everyday socialities and subjectivities. Although spies are deployed for ‘governmentality’ and ‘security’, it simultaneously signifies ZANU-PF’s insecurities.