Special Issue: Zimbabwe Looking Ahead

Editor’s Note

by Todd Leedy

The articles featured in this special issue were originally presented as part of the annual Gwendolen M. Carter Lectures on Africa held at the University of Florida on March 21-24, 2002 . The Carter Lectures on Africa were established in 1986 to honor the achievements of the late Gwendolen M. Carter, who served as Professor Emeritus in African Politics at the University of Florida . The Lectures honor Carter’s distinguished and dedicated work on the politics of inequality in southern Africa and her efforts to further African Studies which spanned over four decades. The annual Carter Lectures bring important issues and perspectives from Africanist scholars to the attention of educators and the public.

Titled “Zimbabwe in Transition: Resolving Land and Constitutional Crises,” the conference took place only weeks after the controversial 2002 Zimbabwe presidential elections. Conference attendees were selected from a general call for papers with an attempt to cover a wide range of issues relating to the economic and political crisis as it existed in late 2001/early 2002. Given the immediacy of the the presidential election results and the presence of several scholars who were in Zimbabwe during the election, discussion and debate was intense. Indeed, most sessions ran over time despite the concerted efforts of each panel chair to keep on schedule.

This special issue features a subset of that original group of scholars who agreed that online publishing would put their work into circulation faster and make it accessible to a broader audience than conventional journals or an edited volume. Depending upon the nature of their topic, some authors elected to include updated information on issues or events through early 2003.