Persistence and decline of traditional authority in modern Botswana politics
Holm, John D.
PublisherBotswana Society, www.botsoc.org.bw
MetadataShow full item record
This paper explores the role traditional authorities have played in post-independence Botswana and their likely future impact. Three overarching themes run through the analysis. First, this illiberal institution is facilitating the integration of traditional political morality and interests within Botswana's emerging modern, semi-democratic, polity. Second, the chiefs and the headmen keep local party organisations, which often have little opposition competition and are subject to manipulation periodically by national party leaders, attentive to local developmental concerns. Finally, while traditional authorities find themselves marginalised in terms of legal authority, they may, if they choose, remain a significant force in their communities through the use of their symbolic authority.