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Gallagher, Julia (2018) 'Zimbabwe’s consolidation as a gatekeeper state.' Third World Thematics: A TWQ Journal, 3 (3). pp. 439-454.

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Cooper’s gatekeeper state theory provides a powerful way to read recent Zimbabwean politics, but the country also challenges his assumptions about both the elite-led nature of gatekeeping, and deterministic assumptions about its direct emergence from colonialism. Drawing on ordinary Zimbabweans’ perspectives, I make two arguments. First, I show how consolidation of Zimbabwe’s ‘gate’ has been shaped by events and contingent reactions to them since 1980, complicating Cooper’s focus on the immanence of colonial structures. Second, I show how consolidation has been achieved through popular ideas of and engagement with the outside world. This has been done in reaction to the increasing solidity and narrowness of the gate – in the ways Zimbabweans themselves work around it – but also in a shift in the ways Zimbabwean people think about the legitimacy of gatekeeping.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Zimbabwe, gatekeeper state, Frederick Cooper, legitimacy, citizens
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > Department of Politics & International Studies
Subjects: J Political Science > JQ Political institutions (Asia, Africa, Australia)
J Political Science
ISSN: 23802014
Copyright Statement: © 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Third World Thematics: A TWQ Journal on 08 Mar 2018, available online:
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 14 Aug 2018 08:09

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