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Crisis! What Crisis! The Multiple Dimensions of the Zimbabwean Crisis argues that the Zimbabwean crisis is in fact a series of crises. From infrastructural problems and disease to a depreciating currency and an increasing muscular militarism, the citizens of Zimbabwe have faced an ongoing struggle to survive. The book explores the resilience of a people as they navigate the multiple challenges they face in the country of their birth. In an inter-disciplinary approach, the authors of Crisis! What Crisis! engage with issues as diverse as resource politics and livelihoods, migration and disembedment, language, and humour to demonstrate the ingenious ways in which citizens mediate the crisis. Topically, the book explores how social media offers a subversive space that flies in the face of increasing restrictions placed on conventional media within Zimbabwe and the governments aggressive efforts to suppress freedom of speech and spread their nationalist agenda. The book concludes with a sobering reflection on the past and what the future might hold.
- How do citizens in poor communities benefit from and perceive state interventions?
- How do citizens in poor communities interact with others in the community to promote the well-being of themselves and their families?
- What are the implications of the above for community based research, policy and practice?
Development, Social Policy and Community Action: Lessons from Below addresses these questions based on rigorous and multi-faceted research conducted in the poor, urban area of Doornkop, Soweto, using a range of different methodological approaches and theoretical perspectives that all broaden our understanding of citizen-community-state interactions in disadvantaged, urban communities in South Africa.
Solutions to poverty and inequality are often designed, implemented and evaluated in a top-down manner, thereby disregarding the views and agency of the poor citizens themselves. Addressing this gap, the authors explore how government assistance, through social grants and services, as well as community support mechanisms provide solutions to citizens in poor communities and the ways that the citizens perceive and make use of such interventions.
This research study points to the need for more nuanced policy strategies and interventions pertinent to local challenges which also resonate with the global search for solutions in similar contexts. With a fresh perspective that addresses the interconnections between state interventions, community and citizens in sustainable social development, this book provides a case for the importance of conducting community-based research that effectively encourages research findings to support communities to effect positive change.