The Allocation of Land as a Historical Discourse of Political Authority in Tanzania

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Abstract

In East Africa, the allocation of land communicates political meaning beyond the mere distribution of a material asset. Despite the plentitude of land in East Africa, political control over people in many areas was accounted in discourses of control over territory. A survey of the historical politics of land allocation in the territory that is now mainland Tanzania provides context for an analysis of colonial land politics Buhaya and Kilimanjaro where central allocating authorities became reference points for land tenure policy. Land allocation defined relations between patron and client and therefore constituted a language to debate the relation of citizen and state. The postcolonial government then sought to create a new national society partly through the co-optation of landed discourse.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)255-282
JournalInternational Journal of African Historical Studies
StatePublished - Oct 2013

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