The Oxford Handbook of Kenyan Politics

ISBN : 9780198815693

Nic Cheeseman; Karuti Kanyinga; Gabrielle Lynch
784 Pages
171 x 246 mm
Pub date
Feb 2020
Oxford Handbooks
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Kenya is one of the most politically dynamic and influential countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Today, it is known in equal measure as a country that has experienced great highs and tragic lows. In the 1960s and 1970s, Kenya was seen as a ''success story" of development in the periphery, and also led the way in terms of democratic breakthroughs in 2010 when a new constitution devolved power and placed new constraints on the president. However, the country has also made international headlines for the kind of political instability that occurs when electoral violence is expressed along ethnic lines, such as during the "Kenya crisis" of 2007/08 when over 1,000 people lost their lives and almost 700,000 were displaced. The Oxford Handbook of Kenyan Politics explains these developments and many more, drawing together 50 specially commissioned chapters by leading researchers. The chapters they have contributed address a range of essential topics including the legacy of colonial rule, ethnicity, land politics, devolution, the constitution, elections, democracy, foreign aid, the informal economy, civil society, human rights, the International Criminal Court, the growing influence of China, economic policy, electoral violence, and the impact of mobile phone technology. In addition to covering some of the most important debates about Kenyan politics, the volume provides an insightful overview of Kenyan history from 1930 to the present day and features a set of chapters that review the impact of devolution on regional politics in every part of the country.



1 Nic Cheeseman, Karuti Kanyinga, and Gabrielle Lynch: The political economy of Kenya: Community, clientelism, and class

Part I - The struggle for democracy

2 Derek R. Peterson: Colonial rule and the rise of African politics (1930-1964)

3 David W. Throup: Jomo Kenyatta and the creation of the Kenyan state (1963-1978

4 David W. Throup: Daniel arap Moi and one-party rule (1978-1991)

5 Raymond Muhula: The limits of multipartyism (1992-2005)

6 James D. Long: Civil conflict, power sharing, truth and reconciliation (2005-2013)

7 Collins Odote: The 2013 elections and the peace narrative (2013-2015)

8 Marie-Emmanuelle Pommerolle: The 2017 elections and electoral (in)justice (2015-2017)

Part II - Identity politics

9 John Lonsdale: Race and ethnicity in colonial Kenya

10 Gregory Deacon: The political role of Christian churches

11 Ngala Chome: The political role of Islam

12 Winnie Mitullah: Gender mainstreaming and the campaign for equality

13 Naomi van Stapele: Youth and masculinity

14 Sini Hassinen: Sexual minority rights and activism

Part III - Political institutions

15 Yash Ghai: Constitutions and constitutionalism

16 Walter O. Oyugi and Jimmy O. Ochieng: The politics of the Provincial Administration

17 Ken Opalo: The rise and fall of the legislature

18 Michelle D'Arcy: Devolution and county government

Part IV - Civil society, the media and political culture

19 Angelique Haugerud, Meghan Ference, and Dillon J. Mahoney: Satire, social media, and cultures of resistance

20 Denis Galava: The role of traditional media

21 Michelle Osborn: Chiefs, elders, and traditional authority

22 Geoffrey Lugano: Civil society and the state

23 Thomas P. Wolf: The science, suspicion and sustainability of opinion polls

Part V - Political parties and strategies of mobilisation

24 Susanne D. Mueller: High stakes ethnic politics

25 Adams Oloo: The weaknesses of political parties

26 Sarah Jenkins: Violence as an election strategy

Part VI - Law and (dis)order

27 Irina Ichim: The protection and promotion of human rights

28 Ambreena Manji: Land rights and the rule of law

29 Musambayi Katumanga: Post-colonial state-military relations

30 Abduallahi Boru Halakhe: Police, reform, and counter-terrorism

31 Jacob Rasmussen: Gangs and vigilantism

Part VII - The political economy of development

32 John W. Harbeson and Frank Holmquist: The lessons and legacies of the Kenya debate''

33 Radha Upadhyaya and Edoardo Totolo: The financial sector

34 Mai Hassan: The local politics of resource distribution

35 Bitange Ndemo and Dennis Aiko: Mobile technology and development

36 Jennifer N. Brass: NGOs and public service provision

37 Jane N.O. Khayesi: The informal economy and its relationship with the state

Part VIII - Kenya and the world

38 Michael Chege: The political economy of foreign aid to Kenya

39 Njoki Wamai: International relations and the International Criminal Court

40 David M. Anderson: Kenya's war in Somalia

41 L. Muthoni Wanyeki: Foreign policy and regional relations

42 Samuel M. Makinda: The rise of China in Kenya's foreign relations

Part IX - Regional politics in the time of devolution

43 Patrick O. Asingo: Nyanza: The Odinga dynasty and beyond

44 Peris S. Jones: Nairobi: The politics of the capital

45 Alex Dyzenhaus: Rift Valley: The struggle for supremacy

46 Hassan H. Kochore: North Eastern: From the periphery to the center

47 Dominic Burbidge and Thomas Raji: Central: Self-sufficiency in a local arena

48 Frederick O. Wanyama: Western: Negotiating political heterogeneity

49 Mumo Nzau: Eastern: The dynamics of bridesmaid politics

50 Hannah Waddilove: The Coast: An elusive political bloc

About the author: 

Nic Cheeseman is Professor of Democracy, University of Birmingham and the former Director of the African Studies Centre, Oxford University. He mainly works on democracy, elections, and development and has conducted fieldwork in a range of African countries. His articles have won a number of prizes including the GIGA award for the best article in Comparative Area Studies (2013) and the Frank Cass Award for the best article in Democratization (2015). He is also the author or editor of ten books. He is the founding editor of the Oxford Encyclopaedia of African Politics, and an advisor and writer for Kofi Annan's African Progress Panel. In recognition of this academic and public contribution, the Political Studies Association of the UK awarded him the prestigious Joni Lovenduski Prize for outstanding professional achievement by a midcareer scholar in 2019. His analysis has appeared in the Economist, Le Monde, NY Times, BBC, amongst others. He writes a regular column for the Mail & Guardian. ; Gabrielle Lynch is Professor of Comparative Politics at the University of Warwick. Her research on Kenya has focused on ethnic identity and politics, elections and democratisation, and transitional justice. She is the author or co-editor of several books and more than 30 articles and book chapters. She is deputy chair of the Review of African Political Economy editorial working group, a member of Democratization's editorial board and Vice-President/Research of the British Institute of Eastern Africa. Gabrielle wrote a twice monthly column for the Saturday Nation (the Saturday edition of Kenya's leading national newspaper) from April 2014 to March 2018 when she stood down alongside 7 other independent columnists in protest at the loss of editorial independence and media freedom at the Nation Media Group. From November 2015 to January 2017 she also wrote a twice monthly column for The East African (the main regional newspaper). ; Karuti Kanyinga is Research Professor of Development Studies, University of Nairobi where he is the current Director of the Institute for Development Studies (IDS), and serves in the Board of Partnership for African Social and Governance Research (PASGR). He has published extensively and is renowned for his contributions to scholarship and knowledge on governance and development in Kenya and Africa in general. He has written extensively on ethnicity and inequality; civil society and development, politics of land rights, and political change. In addition to contribution to scholarship, Karuti served as an advisor to the Kofi Annan Panel of Eminent African Personalities where he advised on monitoring the Kenya National Dialogue and Reconciliation Process (KNDR). He is a frequent commentator on governance and political development in Kenya and Africa in general. He wrote a regular column in Kenya's largest-circulation newspaper, Sunday Nation, and continues to make commentaries on major events.

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