Interest Group Politics and the State: The Political Economy of Manufacturing in Colonial Zimbabwe, 1890–1979


African Humanities Program Postdoctoral Fellowships


International Studies Group


Whereas previous accounts of the growth and development of manufacturing industry in colonial Zimbabwe emphasised the role of the state, whether positive or negative, this book, explores policy proposals and political pressure exerted by organised chambers of industry between 1890 and 1979. By privileging the efforts of industrialists which hitherto have been neglected in the historiography, the book moves beyond the existing scholarship’s emphasis on the actions of the state in the industrialisation of colonial Zimbabwe through planning, regulation and establishment of major industries of national importance. While this existing analysis is correct, it is incomplete. I advance that the expansion and diversification of industry which took place in colonial Zimbabwe was, among other factors, attributable to the efforts of industrialists, who galvanised and formed representative organisations to advance their interests, pitting them against the state and other blocs of capital-farmers, miners and commerce.