In This Review

Afro-Marxist Regimes: Ideology And Public Policy

Afro-Marxist Regimes: Ideology And Public Policy
Edited by Edmond J. Keller and Donald Rothchild
335 pp, Lynne Rienner, 1987

Despite the obvious problems with generalizing about either "Marxism" or "public policy" in states riven by insurgency, this collection of essays conveys a good deal of valuable information about the four chief socialist states in Africa: Ethiopia, Mozambique, Angola and Zimbabwe. Certain interesting patterns emerge. As the editors point out, for all except the least orthodox (Zimbabwe), Marxism has facilitated the authority or consolidation of the regime, but not, in the same way, of the state; on the contrary, Marxist ideology has exacerbated certain problems with state-building for each-particularly in strengthening regime inflexibility regarding ethnic interests and in aggravating major failures in the economic sphere, stemming from top-down control and disregard for the agricultural economy.