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Emergism as Ideology: Zimbabwe’s Ill-Fated Policies for an ‘Emerging’ Upper-Middle-Income Economy

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The Political Economy of Emerging Markets and Alternative Development Paths

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Abstract

Is emergism an ideological expression and manifestation of a re-styled imperialism of free trade? This chapter interrogates the basic premise of African economies as ‘emerging’. From what are they emerging? Colonialism? Are they emerging in the sense of nascent newly established entities? Often, the term catching up is also used. I critique these notions, questioning what these emerging economies are catching up to. This paper uses the example of Zimbabwe to demonstrate that African economies are anything but emerging. The continent has always been a part of global system and not a recent entrant to it, and its relations with the world have always developed concurrently. It challenges notions that one continent is years ahead and another is caught in the past or left behind. Using the Zimbabwe case, the study reconsiders the ‘emerging market’ concept as it is applied to Africa as problematic and misleading.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    ZANU PF is Zimbabwe African National Union—Patriotic Front.

  2. 2.

    PF—ZAPU is an acronym for Patriotic Front—Zimbabwe African People’s Union.

  3. 3.

    https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ideology.

  4. 4.

    South Africa only joined BRIC in 2011.

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Acknowledgements

The author would like to thank Professor Alois Mlambo and Professor Godfrey Maringira for their valuable feedback on this chapter.

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Correspondence to Tinashe Nyamunda .

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Nyamunda, T. (2023). Emergism as Ideology: Zimbabwe’s Ill-Fated Policies for an ‘Emerging’ Upper-Middle-Income Economy. In: Ricz, J., Gerőcs, T. (eds) The Political Economy of Emerging Markets and Alternative Development Paths. International Political Economy Series. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-20702-0_12

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