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Wits University Press
The Humanitarian Hangover: Displacement, Aid and Transformation in Western Tanzania

The Humanitarian Hangover: Displacement, Aid and Transformation in Western Tanzania

by Paul Landau


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Since the mid-1990s, Western Tanzania has hosted hundreds of thousands of refugees living in massive refugee camps sustained by millions of dollars of humanitarian aid. This book explores the anomalous spaces and practices generated by this influx of people and aid, and shows how they have transformed the politics and governmental practices of the region. In more than 14 months of research, Loren Landau found that the refugee influx did not produce the deleterious economic and environmental effects often assumed. Outside the camps, a Tanzanian population long at the margins of their own country’s economics and politics became incorporated into systems of power and authority which linked them to Dar es Salaam, central Africa, Geneva, Washington, and the grain farmers of the American Midwest. Amidst the violence and conflict surrounding the camps, they became "Tanzanian" as never before by exalting the territory, the nation and a political leadership that delegated responsibility for security and services to others: the United Nations, nongovernmental organizations, and the citizenry. The result was a hybridized regime of power shaped by history, contingency, self-interest and perception: a political form that questions models of rural transformation and the functional basis of the modern nation-state. The Humanitarian Hangover is a valuable resource for scholars of displacement, political scientists and sociologists concerned with how displacement and humanitarianism can serve as primary catalysts for social, political, and economic change

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781868144556
Publisher: Wits University Press
Publication date: 11/30/2007
Pages: 192
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range: 16 Years

About the Author

Loren Landau is professor and director of the African Centre for Migration Studies, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.

Table of Contents

List of Maps, Tables, and Figures     vi
Acknowledgements     vii
Acronyms     ix
Examining Displacement and Tanzanian Political Transformation     1
The Platonic State: Genesis, Departicipation, and Desiccation     29
The Humanitarian Influx     65
Challenge without Transformation: Inflation, Labour, and the Exit Option     75
Crisis and Disaggregation     91
Disengagement, Reification, and Territorialisation     121
Transformation and the Humanitarian Hangover     149
Bibliography     159
Index     179

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