The uncertain, halting progress of many newly democratic states is neatly illustrated by the stories examined in Transitions: tales of multiparty power-sharing turning to de facto one-party states; the marginalization of the opposition through both political and economic tools; the use of legislative power to entrench a new elite; growing disillusionment on the part of those omitted from the process of positive change. The promise behind this possibility is reflected in the success of the worker-organized strike for better conditions at the Malaysian-owned Ramatex textile factory in 2006, a subject examined in more detail in Volker Winterfeldt's chapter "Liberated Economy?" Other chapters in Transitions in Namibia cover the hyper-politicized issue of land redistribution (Phanuel Kaapama, "Commercial Land Reforms in Postcolonial Namibia"); the impact of foreign direct investment on Namibia (Winterfeldt's "Liberated Economy?" and Gregor Dobler's "Old Ties or New Shackles"); the development of an isolated, autonomous new black elite (Melber, "Poverty, Politics, Power and Privilege"); and myriad other subjects ranging from disaffected and unemployed youth to the reintegration of ex-combatants, decentralization at the regional level, and the crisis of HIV/ AIDS.
Book Reviews 183 sion that might allow for more accountability. Then, the democratic space that Kenyans like Mutua worked so hard to open may contract yet again. We are already seeing signs of this in the plethora of recent arrests of citi- zens who speak out against corruption, police brutality, and torture. How can this be stopped? The culture of impunity must be punctured. Kenya’s civil society actors also need to reconcile, unite, and heed Mutua’s call for a new social movement that trumps ethnic divisions—focusing not only on a new constitution for all but also on an agenda of economic empower- ment for Kenya’s poor majority. Jacqueline M. Klopp Columbia University New York, New York henning Melber, ed. Transitions in Namibia: Which Changes for Whom? Upp- sala: Nordiska Afrikainstitutet, 2007. 262 pp. Tables. Graphs. Notes. References. $37.50. Paper. Henning Melber’s edited volume Transitions in Namibia is the last output from the “Liberation and Democracy in Southern Africa” project hosted by the Nordic Africa Institute; this excellent work is a continuation of Melber’s edited volume from the same series, Re-examining Liberation in Namibia: Political Culture since Independence (2003). This book addresses the rhetoric of transformation heard from the current administration, reflecting the powerful presence of the former president Sam Nujoma. In essence Melber argues that ruling party liberation mythology functions more as a smokescreen than as a story of meaningful change for Namib- ians. The evidence presented in these fourteen chapters provides convinc- ing weight to Melber’s conclusions about the faltering state of democracy in Namibia. For that argument alone Transitions in Namibia is a useful book, espe- cially for those interested in the fate of the semi-
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