For the last three decades, Uganda has been one of the fastest growing economies in Africa. Globally praised as an African success story and heavily backed by international financial institutions, development agencies and bilateral donors, the country has become an exemplar of economic and political reform for those who espouse a neoliberal model of development. The neoliberal policies and the resulting restructuring of the country have been accompanied by narratives of progress, prosperity, and modernisation and justified in the name of development.
But this self-celebratory narrative, which is critiqued by many in Uganda, masks the disruptive social impact of these reforms and silences the complex and persistent crises resulting from neoliberal transformation. Bringing together a range of leading scholars on the country, this collection represents a timely contribution to the debate around the New Uganda, one which confronts the often sanitised and largely depoliticised accounts of the Museveni government and its proponents.
Harnessing a wealth of empirical materials, the contributors offer a critical, multi-disciplinary analysis of the unprecedented political, socio-economic, cultural and ecological transformations brought about by neoliberal capitalist restructuring since the 1980s. The result is the most comprehensive collective study to date of a neoliberal market society in contemporary Africa, offering crucial insights for other countries in the Global South.
Jörg Wiegratz is Lecturer in Political Economy of Global Development at the School of Politics and International Studies, University of Leeds.
Giuliano Martiniello is Assistant Professor of Rural Community Development in the Faculty of Agriculture and Food Sciences at the American University of Beirut.
Elisa Greco is a Post-Doc Researcher at the Sustainability Research Institute, University of Leeds.