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A Socio-political History of Youth and Violence in Zambia, 1958-1991

Gourley, Tarryn (2021) A Socio-political History of Youth and Violence in Zambia, 1958-1991. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent,. (doi:10.22024/UniKent/01.02.89310) (Access to this publication is currently restricted. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:89310)

Language: English

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The 'problem' of youth has recently been high on the agenda of African governments and non-governmental organisations (NGOs). This perceived threat is compounded by the increasingly youthful demographics of the continent. World Bank estimates suggest that 42.28 per cent of those living in Sub-Saharan Africa are under the age of 14 years old. Globally, Zambia itself has the eighth lowest median age at 16.9 years. The turn towards often nefarious activities as a means of survival among this burgeoning - and disproportionately unemployed - group, has in many countries fed into the idea of youth being synonymous with violence. Emphasising primary source material in which youths speak for themselves, this thesis explores the historical roots of this connection and elucidates the drivers of youth political violence in late colonial and postcolonial Zambia between 1958 and 1991. By focusing on the long period during which the United National Independence Party (UNIP) rose to power and then dominated the newly independent country, the approach contextualises youth violence within broader processes and explores continuities and changes in the landscape of Zambian political violence and opposition politics. Here the African National Congress (ANC) party played a significant role. This study thus enhances understandings of the relationship between youth and violence, as well as anticolonial party politics and the workings of postcolonial African states. More specifically, and in line with recent 'revisionist' accounts of Zambian history, the thesis challenges two commonly held views: firstly, that negotiated independence in the country was an entirely peaceable affair; and secondly, that following independence from Britain in 1964, Zambia represented a relative 'oasis of peace' in an otherwise deeply troubled region. Arguing against these misconceptions, this thesis also demonstrates how youth formed a critical dimension of the workings of nationalist and postcolonial politics in the country, which has until now been overlooked or entirely neglected within Zambianist scholarship.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
Thesis advisor: Cohen, Andrew
Thesis advisor: Macola, Giacomo
DOI/Identification number: 10.22024/UniKent/01.02.89310
Uncontrolled keywords: Youth, Political Violence, Colonial Zambia, Postcolonial Zambia, Party Politics, UNIP, UNIP Youth League, ANC Youth League
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General)
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of History
SWORD Depositor: System Moodle
Depositing User: System Moodle
Date Deposited: 15 Jul 2021 16:10 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Jul 2021 08:39 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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