Populism in Power: Public Policy in Zambia Under President Michael Sata and the Patriotic Front Government

3 May 2021 - 09:00

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“Populism in Power: Public Policy in Zambia Under President Michael Sata and the Patriotic Front Government”

 

Speaker: Hangala Siachiwena

 

Webinar, Tuesday, 4 May 2021 - 1pm to 2pm

The Institute for Democracy, Citizenship and Public Policy in Africa (IDCPPA) is pleased to invite you to a webinar entitled “Populism in Power: Public Policy in Zambia Under President Michael Sata and the Patriotic Front Government”.

 

 

Abstract

 

Michael Sata and the Patriotic Front effectively used populist strategies to assume state power in Zambia. What did Sata’s populism mean for his government’s economic management? This paper argues that beyond using populism as a mobilization strategy to win elections, Sata also implemented policies that were consistent with macroeconomic populism to fulfill his election promises and reward his supporters. Sata was less cautious of maintaining long-term macroeconomic stability than his immediate predecessors and more reliant on external borrowing to implement his reform agenda that focused on infrastructure development. Yet Zambians (who generally supported higher levels of state intervention) evaluated Sata’s presidency more positively than they did his predecessor (even though the evaluations had begun to decline by his final year in office). A broader argument this paper makes is that Sata’s populist discourse was rooted in his belief in strong state intervention and attempts to recreate the statist development model that was implemented in Zambia in the 1960s and 70s – but that also led to economic collapse by the 1980s.

 

Presenter Bio

 

Hangala Siachiwena is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the IDCPPA and a research assistant for Afrobarometer. He completed a PhD in the Department of Sociology at the University of Cape Town in 2020, that focused on the politics of social policy reforms in Malawi and Zambia. His research focuses primarily on social protection, public policy, and the interaction between democracy and development in Southern Africa.

 

The Zoom details for this webinar is as follows:

 

Join Zoom Meeting: https://zoom.us/j/95115623442?pwd=UVFNRDlYZVlUdTZNaSttbzZJRVVoQT09

Meeting ID: 951 1562 3442

Passcode: 924109