This article examines competing interpretations of the nature and cause of Zimbabwes contemporary crisis. It finds that while neoliberal macroeconomic policies promoted by international financial institutions helped to provide a structural basis for the crisis, arguments attributing blame to Britain and to wider Western sanctions are overblown and inaccurate. Similarly, although Western reactions to Zimbabwes land reform have had a racist tinge, these paled in comparison with the explicit racist intent of policies adopted by the Zimbabwean Government. The claim that Zimbabwe is undergoing a process of progressive transformation must be weighed against the nature of state power, the intensification of class divisions, a precipitous economic decline, a problematic development strategy and the extreme abuse of human, civil and political rights.

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Keywords crisis, human rights, land reform, racism, sanctions, transformation
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Journal Journal of Contemporary African Studies
Freeman, L. (2014). A parallel universe-competing interpretations of Zimbabwe's crisis. Journal of Contemporary African Studies, 32(3), 349–366. doi:10.1080/02589001.2014.956497