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DEVELOPMENT, POLITICS, AND THE CENTRALIZATION OF STATE POWER IN LESOTHO, 1960–75*

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  22 September 2014

John Aerni-Flessner*
Affiliation:
Michigan State University

Abstract

The rhetoric of development served as a language for Sotho politicians from 1960–70 to debate the meanings of political participation. The relative paucity of aid in this period gave outsized importance to small projects run in rural villages, and stood in stark contrast to the period from the mid-1970s onwards when aid became an ‘anti-politics machine’ that worked to undermine national sovereignty. Examination of the democratic period in Lesotho from 1966–70 helps explain the process by which newly independent states gave up some of their recently won sovereignty, and how a turn to authoritarianism helped contribute to this process.

Type
Economics and Governance
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2014 

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Footnotes

*

Funding for this research was provided in part by the Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad Fellowship program, the SUNY Cortland History Department, the International Seminar on Decolonization, and a grant from the Faculty Research Program at SUNY Cortland. Previous versions of this article were presented at the African Studies Association Meeting and the North Eastern Workshop on Southern Africa, as well as the 2013 International Seminar on Decolonization in Washington, DC. This article is stronger for all the feedback in these venues, as well as for the close read by the anonymous reviewers of The Journal of African History. Author's email: aernifl1@msu.edu

References

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47 De Wet, Betterment; TNA OD 31/170, Lesotho Post Independence Aid, memo from High Commissioner Maseru to the Commonwealth Office, London, 28 Feb. 1967.

48 TNA OD 31/219, South African Assistance to Lesotho, 1967–9. This project would eventually be negotiated after the military takeover in the 1980s, and construction on Phase II just started in 2014.

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65 Interview with Bill Reed.

66 NACP RG 490, Peace Corps, Office of International Operations, Country Plans 1966–85, Lesotho 1968–71: Program Memorandum.

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71 TNA OD 31/169, Post Independence Aid to Lesotho, conversation between Prime Minister Jonathan and British High Commissioner, Maseru, 9 Feb. 1967.

72 Jonathan quoted in Khaketla, Lesotho 1970, 189.

73 TNA OD 31/221, Lesotho National Development Corporation.

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76 NACP RG 490, Peace Corps, Office of International Operations, Country Plans 1966–85, Lesotho 1968–71: Program Memorandum.

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88 Murray, C., Families Divided: The Impact of Migrant Labour in Lesotho (Cambridge, 1981)Google Scholar; Epprecht, ‘Matter of Women’, 189.

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91 TNA OD 31/171, Lesotho Post-Independence Aid, internal ODM memo, 30 Dec. 1968; NACP RG 286 USAID, Bureau for Africa, Office of Eastern and Southern Africa, Closed Subject Files of the Southern Africa Regional Activities Coordination, 1969–73, Box 4, Folder Regional Activities (Lesotho) FY 71, Work-for-Food program report, 4 Feb. 1971.

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93 NACP RG 286 USAID, Bureau for Africa, Office for Southern Africa Regional Coordination, Box 5, Folder Assistance Plans, Annual Report Special Self-Help Report, 21 July 1969.

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95 Ferguson, Anti-Politics, 109.

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99 The Swedes suspended their aid for three years, for example. Matlosa, ‘Aid’, 6.

100 TNA Records of the Prime Minister's Office (PREM) 13/3297, Lesotho Coup, memo from FCO to High Commissioner, Maseru, 10 June 1970.

101 Khaketla, Lesotho 1970, 316–8.

102 NACP RG 59, State Department, Bureau of African Affairs, Office of Southern African Affairs, Records Relating to Botswana, Lesotho, and Swaziland, 1969–75, Box 1, Folder: Lesotho Government Emergency 1970, letter from Charge d'affaires Gebelt, Maseru to Secretary of State, 26 Mar. 1970.

103 NACP RG 286 USAID, Central Subject Files 1968–73, Bureau for Africa, Office of Southern African Regional Coordination, Box 12, Folder PRM 3 Lesotho FY 1972, Petition 7 Jan. 1972.

104 Ibid.

Ibid

105 NACP RG 286 USAID, Central Subject Files 1968–73, Bureau for Africa, Office of Southern African Regional Coordination, Box 12, Folder PRM 3 Lesotho FY 1972, Memo Athol Ellis, USAID to Robert Dean, Division Chief, Eastern Africa, International Bank for Reconstruction, 28 Jan. 1972.

106 Winai-Ström, Migration and Development, 94.

107 Thabane, Who Owns the Land, 1.

108 Khaketla, Lesotho 1970, 189.

6
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