Violence as an election strategy

Jenkins, Sarah (2020) Violence as an election strategy. In: The Oxford Handbook of Kenyan Politics. Oxford University Press.

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Abstract

Since the colonial and early independence eras, violence has been used in Kenya as a strategy to manipulate the electoral process and to ensure victory in the polls. It has been employed in both highly instrumental, and more ad hoc ways, by actors at all levels of political agency. This chapter explores Kenya’s legacy of violent electoral politics, reflecting on the causes and motivations that underscore its use, and tracing its manifestations at key historical junctures from the colonial period to the present day. It suggests that Kenya’s susceptibility to violence during election periods is rooted in four interrelated factors: the neo-patrimonial ethnic logic of politics, which creates incentives to utilise violent tactics; the persistent narratives of ethnic territoriality which serve to legitimise certain forms of violence; weak institutions which both enable and provoke various actors to utilise violence; and the diffusion of armed actors and an embedded culture of violence which facilitates mobilisation during electoral periods.

Item Type: Book Section
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of International Development
Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 20 Jun 2018 12:30
Last Modified: 07 Aug 2020 23:58
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/67411
DOI:

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