Author

Ben O. Olofio

Date of Award

7-1987

Degree Type

Dissertation

University or Center

Atlanta University (AU)

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Department

Political Science

Abstract

The aim of this study was to determine whether or not the Mouvement Populaire de la Revolution (MPR) as a single political party in Zaire has brought about national integration in the country. The Charter of the Party, herein referred to as the Nsele Manifesto, states that "the MPR intends to restore the state authority and the union of the Zaireans for the sake and the grandeur of the Republic." Carried out from a historical materialist perspective, the study comes up with three major findings. First, from a behavioral standpoint the MPR has implemented a vertical integration in Zaire as opposed to horizontal integration. Second, from a materialist viewpoint the MPR, in its relations to the means of production with the environment, has become a major factor in the class structure in Zaire. Third, the issue of ethnicization of power which, as of late has become one of great interest to social scientists in general and to students of Zairean politics in particular, has been given enough attention in this study. However, this research takes the position that scholars should be cautious in their effort to apprehend the processes of power diffusion on the one hand, and the dialectics of class and ethnicity on the other hand. Indeed, to overemphasize one aspect such as ethnicization of power leads to an obscurantist explanation of a socio-political reality as complex as contemporary African politics dictates. Moreover, for scholars interested in qualitative social change, such an approach fails to comprehend contradictions underlying the political make up of Zaire. Only a thorough analysis of these contradictions can enable one to seize the essential significance concealed behind the party slogan of "MPR=SERVIR."

Comments

Signature pages are on file with the graduate school. An archival copy of the document is available in the Archives Research Center.

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