Professor Helliker has co-edited two books published by Routledge Press (2018):


  1. The Political Economy of Livelihoods in Contemporary Zimbabwe

Edited by Kirk Helliker, Manase Chiweshe and Sandra Bhatasara

  1. Politics at a Distance from the State: Radical and African Perspectives

Edited by Kirk Helliker and Lucien van der Walt



  1. 1.      The Political Economy of Livelihoods in Contemporary Zimbabwe


Since the introduction of the fast track land reform programme in 2000, Zimbabwe has undergone major economic and political shifts and these have had a profound impact on both urban and rural livelihoods. This book provides rich empirical studies that examine a range of multi-faceted and contested livelihoods within the context of systemic crises. Taking a broad political economy approach, the chapters advance a grounded and in-depth understanding of emerging and shifting livelihood processes, strategies and resilience that foregrounds agency at household level.


Highlighting an emergent scholarship amongst young black scholars in Zimbabwe, and providing an understanding of how people and communities respond to socio-economic challenges, this book is an important read for scholars of African political economy, southern African studies and livelihoods.


Chapter 1: Introduction – Theorising the Political Economy of Livelihoods in Contemporary Zimbabwe

Sandra Bhatasara, Manase Kudzai Chiweshe and Kirk Helliker


Chapter 2: Livelihood Strategies of Urban Women: Emerging Evidence from Magaba, Harare

Takunda Chirau


Chapter 3: Livelihood Strategies in Harare: The Case of Low-Income Households in Budiriro

Tafadzwa Chevo


Chapter 4: Sex Work as a Livelihood Strategy in the Border Town of Beitbridge

Wadzanai Takawira and Kirk Helliker


Chapter 5: Migration-based Livelihoods in post-2000 Zimbabwe

Manase Kudzai Chiweshe


Chapter 6: Agricultural Production Systems of Small-Scale Farmers in Hwedza in the Context of Innovation Platforms

Innocent Mahiya


Chapter 7: Development NGOs – Understanding Participatory Methods, Accountability and Effectiveness of World Vision in Umzingwane District

Kayla Knight Waghorn


Chapter 8: A Critical Analysis of Community Participation at the Primary Level of the Health System in Goromonzi District

Rachel Gondo


Chapter 9: Climate Variability in Local Scales – Narratives and Ambivalences from Mutoko District

Sandra Bhatasara


Chapter 10: Livelihoods Vulnerability among Riverbed Farmers in Negande, NyamiNyami District

Felix Tombindo


Chapter 11: "Let Them Starve so that they ‘Hear’ us" – Differing Perspectives on Unresolved Land Occupations and Livelihoods at Mushandike Smallholder Irrigation Scheme, Masvingo District

Jonathan Mafukidze


Chapter 12: "Other People Inherit Property, But I Inherit People and Their Problems" – The Role of Kinship and Social Capital in Providing Care and Support for the HIV Infected and AIDS Affected, Chivanhu Informal Settlement, Masvingo Province

Loveness Makonese


Chapter 13: Insecure Land Tenure and Natural Resource Use in a Post-Fast Track Area of Zimbabwe

Takunda Chabata


Chapter 14: Fast Track Land Reform Programme and Women in Goromonzi District

Loveness Chakona and Manase Kudzai Chiweshe




  1. 2.      Politics at a Distance from the State: Radical and African Perspectives


For decades, most anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist movements identified radical transformation with capturing state power. The collapse of these statist projects from the 1970s led to a global crisis of left and working class politics. But crisis has also opened space for rediscovering alternative society-centred, anti-capitalist modes of bottom-up change, operating at a distance from the state. These have registered important successes in practice, such as the Zapatistas in Mexico, and Rojava in Syria. They have been a key influence on movements from Occupy in United States, to the landless in Latin America, to anti-austerity struggles in Europe and Asia, to urban movements in Africa. Their lineages include anarchism, syndicalism, autonomist Marxism, philosophers like Alain Badiou, and radical popular praxis. This path-breaking volume recovers this understanding of social transformation, long side-lined but now resurgent, like a seed in the soil that keeps breaking through and growing. It provides case studies with reference to South Africa and Zimbabwe, and includes a dossier of key texts from a century of anarchists, syndicalists, insurgent unionists and anti-apartheid activists in South Africa. Originating in an African summit of radical academics, struggle veterans and social movements, the book includes a preface from John Holloway.


Preface: at a distance from the state

John Holloway


1. Politics at a distance from the state: radical, South African and Zimbabwean praxis today

Kirk Helliker and Lucien van der Walt


2. Constructing the domain of freedom: thinking politics at a distance from the state

Michael Neocosmos


3. Back to the future: revival, relevance and route of an anarchist/syndicalist approach for twenty-first-century left, labour and national liberation movements

Lucien van der Walt

4. Prefiguring democratic revolution? ‘Workers’ control’ and ‘workerist’ traditions of radical South African labour, 1970–1985

Sian Byrne and Nicole Ulrich


5. Broadening conceptions of democracy and citizenship: the subaltern histories of rural resistance in Mpondoland and Marikana

Camalita Naicker and Sarah Bruchhausen


6. A feminist perspective on autonomism and commoning, with reference to Zimbabwe

Tarryn Alexander and Kirk Helliker


7. From Below: An Overview of South African Politics at a Distance from the State, 1917-2015, with Dossier of Texts

Compiled and edited, with introduction, by Lucien van der Walt


Last Modified: Wed, 16 May 2018 11:21:12 SAST