A predatory coalition in Zimbabwe

Coalitions can become powerful anti-development forces. This study of Zimbabwe’s political economy between 1980 and 2010 shows how a civil-military coalition consolidated state power, violently suppressed political opposition, engaged in predatory corruption, and challenged the economic interests of commercial farming and business elites. 

It is a cautionary tale about the limits of externally driven, hastily negotiated and reluctantly accepted political settlements. Zimbabwe began its independent nationhood in 1980 with a power-sharing compromise, and the Global Political Agreement of 2008 was little better. The outcome was a political settlement that never took root, crippling the country’s progress toward democracy and development.

Researchers: Michael Bratton and Eldred Masunungure

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The Developmental Leadership Program (DLP) is an international research initiative that explores how leadership, power and political processes drive or block successful development.

DLP focuses on the crucial role of home-grown leaderships and coalitions in forging legitimate political settlements and institutions that promote developmental outcomes, such as sustainable growth, political stability and inclusive social development.

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