The Zimbabwean University under Authoritarian Neoliberalism

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The paper examines the unending crises in higher education in Zimbabwe by situating the discussion in neoliberal theories and literature. Authoritarian classic neoliberalism, neopatrimonial neoliberalism, and kleptocratic neoliberalism are the three neoliberal strains utilized to interpret and discuss views from Southern African academics, specifically from Zimbabwe’s university community. A recent survey study captured the experiences and perspectives of university teachers. Focusing on research and related academic activities, the paper examines and highlights the academe’s challenging experiences. The paper identifies areas of academic research and pedagogy that have deteriorated because of the adoption of authoritarian neoliberalism. The discussion is located within a critical perspective that considers neoliberalism as an authoritarian ideology enforced on peripheral countries by the Global North and adopted in various forms by ruling elites in the non-Western world. The conclusion is that there is a complete failure of Zimbabwe’s current economic and political trajectories resulting in the unending circle of crises in university education. Recommendations are suggested that question the logic of deploying neoliberal policies in peripheral countries such as Zimbabwe.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)529-549
Number of pages20
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 2022


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