Tanzania's retreat from statism in the countryside
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The paper is a product of a recent brief trip to Tanzania and discusses the circumstances and implications of the revival of district councils and cooperatives. The change is viewed against a background of long-term economic crisis and rising peasant political complaint and marks the reversal of a 15 year rise of statism in the countryside. Reasons for the earlier demise of councils and cooperatives are examined as well as the inadequacies of subsequent "participatory" policy. The nature and design of the reincarnated institutions are reviewed and several questions about their operation are raised. Reasons for the likely revival of peasant initiative in self-help are also discussed. In conclusion, although there has been no widespread public discussion of these changes and their implication for a transition to socialism, and although there is an air of "muddling through" a difficult situation, there are good reasons to see these moves as logical and quite positive steps on a democratic socialist and more productive path.