Jump to Content Jump to Main Navigation

Political Science Politics of East Africa
by
George Nyabuga

Introduction

The focus of this article is Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania, although countries including Rwanda, Burundi, Somalia, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, and to some extent Southern Sudan can be considered to be part of the larger East Africa. The former three countries have followed different but somewhat similar political trajectories, experimenting at some point with one-party, centralized political systems. Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania also share a common colonial background, their people straddle common borders, and they shared common services from the colonial period until 1977, when the East African Economic Community collapsed. The countries in 1999 revived the East African Community and expanded it to include Burundi and Rwanda. A political federation is expected to be established in 2017. Although Uganda has had a troubled political trajectory, with coups and a military dictatorship (especially under Idi Amin Dada between 1971 and 1979), Kenya and Tanzania have been relatively stable, albeit of course with political problems of their own. Poor and despotic leadership, corruption, and electoral malpractice, among other political problems, have been common maladies in the three countries. Accordingly, issues of constitutionalism, political developments and democracy, and conflict seem to dominate the literature on East African politics. The intrigues, fluidity, and unpredictability of politics in the three countries attracts not only East Africanist scholars but also general readers interested in African or indeed other politics.

General Overviews

Certain issues always come to mind when one thinks of East African politics, and the issues that inform the study of African politics are numerous. Thomson 2000 has written a text with wide-ranging coverage, including state, civil society, external interests, ideology, ethnicity, religion, neocolonialism, democracy, and legitimacy, among others. Thomson uses different case studies to illustrate the arguments advanced in the book. In addition, ethnicity, identity, conflict, power, democracy, corruption, and governance are often mentioned as issues of interest when examining not only African but also East African politics. Sometimes these issues make it difficult for people within the countries of East Africa to develop appropriate characteristics with which to identify themselves. This is perhaps the issue that Mwakikagile 2007 tries to examine as many nation-states grapple with their multiple identities. However, in most instances many people identify with their ethnic groups (see Ethnicity), whose consequences for politics in Africa are sometimes deleterious. In Kenya, ethnicity has been the cause of numerous conflicts, most recently the post-election violence of late 2007 and early 2008 (see Conflict). Salih and Markakis 1998 examines the power and potency of ethnicity in nation-states like those of East Africa. Azam, et al. 1999 specifically focuses on the causes, consequences, and costs of some of these conflicts. This is further examined by Berman, et al. 2004, which includes specific cases of the effects of ethnicity on African politics. This work contains three articles looking specifically at Kenya. Chapter 5, by John Lonsdale, examines the moral and political dynamics of ethnic development in the African continent; chapter 10, by Elisha Stephen Atieno Odhiambo, focuses on ethnicity and democracy in Kenya, seeing these as hegemonic enterprises and instruments of survival in the country’s political process. Githu Muigai’s chapter 12 is about Jomo Kenyatta, Kenya’s founding president, and what he calls the rise of the ethno-nationalist state in Kenya. Ethnic conflicts and other struggles impede good governance and democracy, as Bekoe 2006 rightly acknowledges. Kaiser and Okumu 2004 then deals with the challenges of such issues for democracy. What this usually leads to is a situation in which poor and unaccountable leadership is the norm. The ensuing struggles that occupy various actors, such as human rights nongovernmental organizations, are the subject of Mutua 2009.

  • Azam, Jean-Paul, Christian Morrisson, and Sophie Chauvin. Conflict and Growth in Africa: Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. Vol. 2. Paris: OECD, 1999.

    DOI: 10.1787/9789264173552-enSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Explores the causes and consequences of conflict in the East African countries of Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda. The work explores the different levels of conflict in the three countries, and estimates the costs of such conflict.

    Find this resource:

  • Bekoe, Dorina, ed. East Africa and the Horn: Confronting Challenges to Good Governance. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner, 2006.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Explores the obstacles to governance and the opportunities for democratization in East Africa. The work looks at the conflict situation in East Africa and particularly in Somalia, the trade in small arms and light weapons, the refugee situation, tensions around national identity, the legacy of US policy in the region, and how these issues impact governance.

    Find this resource:

  • Berman, Bruce, Dickson Eyoh, and Will Kymlicka, eds. Ethnicity and Democracy in Africa. Athens: Ohio University Press, 2004.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This collection of articles looks at the role ethnicity plays in the democratic process across Africa. Three chapters focus specifically on Kenya, where ethnicity or “tribalism” is a common feature in public and political life, determining the outcome of electoral and democratic activities.

    Find this resource:

  • Kaiser, Paul, and F. Wafula Okumu, eds. Democratic Transitions in East Africa. Aldershot, UK: Ashgate, 2004.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This work examines the challenges facing democracies in East Africa. It includes the consequences of issues like the Rwandan genocide, violent civil wars, and other factors in the quest for democracy. The book focuses on the challenges to the emergence of the democratic political systems in Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania.

    Find this resource:

  • Mutua, Makau, ed. Human Rights NGOs in East Africa: Political and Normative Tensions. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2009.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Considers the role of civil society particularly in the protection of human rights, including the rights of marginalized communities. It examines the not so rosy relationship between the state and civil society organizations, and how this informs the success or indeed failure of such groups in their battle against human rights abuses.

    Find this resource:

  • Mwakikagile, Godfrey. Kenya: Identity of a Nation. Pretoria, South Africa: New Africa, 2007.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Examines Kenya as nation-state struggling to create a national character and identity. It looks at the role of ethnicity and diversity in the political process, arguing that this can be source of both unity and conflict. It looks at the Mau Mau, independence, political developments, and the country’s cultures.

    Find this resource:

  • Salih, Mohamed, and John Markakis, eds. Ethnicity and the State in Eastern Africa. Uppsala, Sweden: Nordic Africa Institute, 1998.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Examines the potency of ethnicity as a tool for political mobilization, focusing on the relationship between state and ethnicity. It looks at how economic, social, cultural, and religious factors contribute to the politicization of ethnicity and the volatility of its relationship with the state.

    Find this resource:

  • Thomson, Alex. An Introduction to African Politics. Abingdon, UK: Routledge, 2000.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Although this work deals with the politics of Africa more widely, including its struggle and decolonization, it has a case study of Kenya. This focuses on Kenya’s historical inheritance, examining the colonial period and what the country inherited, including the political system and constitution, from the departing British colonial government.

    Find this resource:

Reference Works

Africa is replete with problems. Conflict, drought, famine, corruption, and poor leadership have been cited as some of the most common maladies afflicting the continent. Political leadership and governance contribute hugely to everyday political discourse, because the kind of leadership often determines the direction countries take, and the power relations given the numerous interests within states, particularly those in Africa. It is common knowledge that most African countries have suffered poor leadership since they gained independence in the 1960s. Jackson and Rosberg 1982 has tried to classify different leadership skills, although it is not clear that the labels of prince, autocrat, prophet, and tyrant offer sufficient explanation of the types of leadership Africa has experienced. Neither does Mazrui and Mutunga 2003, although this offers insights into the factors, including ideology, that inform African leadership styles. This is perhaps picked up by Aseka 2005, which deals more explicitly with issues of power relations within “ethnicized” Africa (see also Ethnicity). Amid such problems, there are suggestions that there ought to be a “United States of Africa.” The romantic issue of pan-Africanism seems to be taking root, a subject Shivji 2008 tackles, although his work is based on a case study of the Tanganyika-Zanzibar Union. And as Africa tries to deal with its numerous problems, amid growing optimism that democracy and good governance will take root, there are works that now explore the application of technology in politics. While Mudhai, et al. 2009 looks at disparate ways these new technologies have impacted society, Nyabuga 2009 examines specifically how the Internet has affected Kenya’s politics.

  • Aseka, Eric. Transformational Leadership in East Africa: Politics, Ideology, and Community. Kampala, Uganda: Fountain, 2005.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Discusses the relationship between politics and power in East Africa from a historical perspective. It examines how the exercise and contestation of political power and the role of leadership have played out within the various ethnic communities, and at country and regional levels.

    Find this resource:

  • Jackson, Robert, and Carl Gustav Rosberg. Personal Rule in Black Africa: Prince, Autocrat, Prophet, Tyrant. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1982.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This details the governance of African countries during the postcolonial period. It argues that the postcolonial rulers have been described as princes, prophets, autocrats, and tyrants. In chapter 3, Kenya’s Jomo Kenyatta is placed in the category of princes and oligarchs, while Tanzania’s Julius Nyerere is considered alongside those called “prophets” in chapter 5.

    Find this resource:

  • Mazrui, Alamin, and Willy Mutunga, eds. Debating the African Condition: Governance and Leadership. Vol. 2. Asmara, Eritrea: Africa World, 2003.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Discusses issues informing leadership in Africa. Has analysis of some of Africa’s leaders, particularly Ghana’s Kwame Nkrumah and Tanzania’s Julius Nyerere, and some of the ideological factors that contributed to their styles of leadership. It discusses what Mazrui calls “leadership traditions”: elder traditions, warrior tradition, sage tradition, and the monarchical tradition.

    Find this resource:

  • Mudhai, Fred, Wisdom Tettey, and Fackson Banda, eds. African Media and the Digital Public Sphere. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009.

    DOI: 10.1057/9780230621756Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    A collection of works looking at the role of the media in the political process. It argues that “new” media have expanded the political space, and somewhat transformed the African (digital) public sphere. A number of articles look at how these media have been applied in East Africa, especially in electoral activities.

    Find this resource:

  • Nyabuga, George. Click on Democracy: Uses and Effects of the Internet on Kenyan Politics. Saarbrücken: VDM, 2009.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Looks at the application of new media, and particularly the Internet in politics in Kenya. It argues that the Internet has played a “significant” role in the consolidation of democracy by democratizing information production and dissemination, and political communication as a key ingredient in the political process.

    Find this resource:

  • Shivji, Issa. Pan-Africanism or Pragmatism: Lessons of the Tanganyika-Zanzibar Union. Dar es Salaam, Tanzania: Mkuki Na Nyota, 2008.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This resuscitates the pan-Africanist debate. Based on the stresses and strains in the union of Tanganyika and Zanzibar since its formation more than forty years ago, the work seems to suggest that the example of Tanganyika-Zanzibar reflects the apparent failure of the hope for a united Africa.

    Find this resource:

Colonial Politics

Arguments abound about the nature of African politics before colonialism. However, as Kenyatta 1965 would have it, the nations within Africa, before the “scramble for Africa” demarcated the continent into nation-states, were well organized. Although this is written from the viewpoint of Kenyatta’s Kikuyu nation, it offers insights into the pre- and post-colonial periods. In the same vein, Ofcansky 1996 posits that some colonial policies were somewhat to blame for post-independence chaos in some countries, notably Uganda, once called “the Pearl of Africa.” Berman 1990 looks at the colonial period in Kenya and explores the issue of control and White domination of the African masses. This thesis may be supported by Clayton and Savage 1974’s examination of forced labor, particularly the conscription of Africans into agricultural production for the benefit of White settlers and colonial governments. Even though one would then assume that the White settlers led a life of privilege and happiness, as in the so-called Happy Valley, Berman and Lonsdale 1992 argues that the place was ruthless and extremely unhappy. This may be due to the fact that this was the site of numerous killings when the freedom fighters, the Mau Mau, savagely butchered some of the settlers. This subject is tackled to some extent in Percox 2004, which examines British military interventions in Kenya in attempts to ward off the Mau Mau.

  • Berman, Bruce. Control and Crisis in Colonial Kenya: The Dialectic of Domination. London: James Currey, 1990.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Details the colonial regime in Kenya until independence in 1963. Explores the colonial ideology, and the basis for colonialism, the political economy of settler survival, control, and growth. It also looks at the political struggle, the crisis of the colonial state, and its political legacy.

    Find this resource:

  • Berman, Bruce, and John Lonsdale. Unhappy Valley: Conflict in Kenya and Africa. Oxford: James Currey, 1992.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    During the colonial period, the so-called White Highlands in Kenya, labeled the Happy Valley, were known for their excesses, particularly all-weekend orgies. Yet the Happy Valley was a place of extreme unhappiness, especially during the Mau Mau rebellion, when White settlers were targeted by freedom fighters. This work looks at the politics of violence and ethnicity during the struggle for independence in Kenya.

    Find this resource:

  • Clayton, Anthony, and Donald Savage. Government and Labour in Kenya, 1895–1963. Abingdon, UK: Frank Cass, 1974.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Details labor in Kenya from colonization to independence, particularly during the war period, and the conscription of African labor into agricultural production. It also gives an account of the squatters’ revolts, under the rubric of the Mau Mau, the freedom fighters labeled a terrorist group by the British colonial government.

    Find this resource:

  • Kenyatta, Jomo. Facing Mount Kenya. New York: Vintage, 1965.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Although not strictly political, the book gives an anthropological account of the Agikuyu people, the largest ethnic community in Kenya. It details the arrival of the British in Kenya and how the missionaries were used to disenfranchise Africans, entrench White “superiority,” and enforce cultural imperialism prior to and throughout the colonial period.

    Find this resource:

  • Ofcansky, Thomas. Uganda: Tarnished Pearl of Africa. Boulder, CO: Westview, 1996.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Examines factors that contributed to the troubles in Uganda, once considered the Pearl of Africa, especially during the colonial era. The disintegration (before its rise again) of Uganda was characterized by military violence. This work examines the political, economic, and social factors that have shaped Uganda.

    Find this resource:

  • Percox, David. Britain, Kenya and the Cold War: Imperial Defence, Colonial Security and Decolonisation. London: IB Tauris, 2004.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    A political-historical account of British defense and internal security in Kenya. It seeks to find out the place of Kenya in the British’s overseas defense policy and considers the political decision making on Kenya during the postwar period, including the Cold War era.

    Find this resource:

Independence

The Mau Mau, the freedom fighters of Kenya, are credited with liberating the country from colonialism. In most public discourses, the group is venerated for its bravery and selfless fight for independence. The Mau Mau’s suffering is described in Anderson 2005 and Elkins 2005. These works detail the atrocities visited upon the Mau Mau and their sympathizers by the colonial government. In other places, however, the Mau Mau have been labeled terrorists who took to the forest, tormenting ostensibly peace-loving people, mostly White settlers. In post-independence Kenya they were sometimes vilified, and often the political leadership sought to erase such groups from the country’s memory. Kenya’s first president, Jomo Kenyatta, is on record asking people to forget about the “false” liberation credentials of the freedom fighters (see Kenyatta 1968). But their reputation as fearless and selfless liberators has started to be documented, and they are now widely appreciated for their contribution to Kenya’s independence as Atieno-Odhiambo and Lonsdale 2003 tells us. Although the collection includes a wide range of topics, the major contention is that the group is undoubtedly firmly rooted in the national political and historical memory (Clough 1998). Even though Maloba 1993 might dispute their reputation as freedom fighters, because it was a “peasant revolt,” there is now an overarching view that their contribution accelerated Kenya’s independence. Kenyatta 1968 may disagree with this view, considering his denunciation of the Mau Mau, although he regularly rode the Mau Mau wave when it suited him. Interestingly, some works, for example, Malhotra 1990, consider him to have been one of them, or say that he made significant contributions to the independence struggle through his membership in the Mau Mau.

  • Anderson, David. Histories of the Hanged: The Dirty War in Kenya and the End of Empire. New York: W. W. Norton, 2005.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    The Mau Mau are the subject of numerous works, particularly those looking at the struggle against the British colonial government. This is one of that list, and gives an account of Britain’s final bloody decade in Kenya, telling the story of brutal war between the colonial government and the insurrectionist Mau Mau between 1952 and 1960.

    Find this resource:

  • Atieno-Odhiambo, Elisha Stephen, and John Lonsdale, eds. Mau Mau and Nationhood. Oxford: James Currey, 2003.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    A collection of articles giving the story of the freedom movement organization known as the Mau Mau, labeled a terrorist organization by the British colonial government. The articles look at the recruitment into the organization, its organization and ideology, survival, and its place in the Kenya’s postcolonial discourse.

    Find this resource:

  • Clough, Marshall. Mau Mau Memoirs: History, Memory and Politics. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner, 1998.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Although the Mau Mau are credited with the independence struggle, their place in Kenya’s freedom movement memory is not assured, mainly because the founding president, Jomo Kenyatta, wanted the country to forget those whom the British described as savages and terrorists. This work seeks to analyze the place of the Mau Mau memory in Kenya, and their involvement in the political process.

    Find this resource:

  • Elkins, Caroline. Imperial Reckoning: The Untold Story of Britain’s Gulag in Kenya. New York: Henry Holt, 2005.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This tells the story of the Mau Mau, and how the British colonial government set up concentration camps where thousands died as a result of forced labor and terrible living conditions.

    Find this resource:

  • Kenyatta, Jomo. Suffering Without Bitterness: The Founding of the Kenyan Nation. Nairobi, Kenya: East African Publishing House, 1968.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Kenya’s founding president, Jomo Kenyatta, details the struggle for independence, and the role of the freedom fighters, the Mau Mau, in the development of post-independence Kenya. It is in this work that Kenyatta denounces the Mau Mau, revealing his feelings about the place of the freedom fighters in Kenya’s political memory.

    Find this resource:

  • Malhotra, Veena. Kenya under Kenyatta. Delhi: Hemlata Kalinga, 1990.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Focuses on the life of Kenya’s founding president, Jomo Kenyatta, and particularly his contributions to the struggle for independence, rise to power, political development, and economic and foreign policies.

    Find this resource:

  • Maloba, Wanyabari. Mau Mau and Kenya: An Analysis of a Peasant Revolt. Nairobi, Kenya: East African Educational Publishers, 1993.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Whereas most works argue that the Mau Mau was foremost a struggle for independence and by extension for land, this work posits that it was driven by the struggle against the colonial state and particularly its land policy, which the author calls “the economics of desperation.” The annexation of land from the peasants set off the rebellion in their desperate quest for survival.

    Find this resource:

The Formation of Independent States

Various factors inform the formation and analysis of independent African states. Although the three East African countries gained their independence from Britain in 1962 (Uganda), 1963 (Kenya), and 1964 (Tanzania), they have followed different political trajectories. This makes post-independence politics in the three countries interesting for various reasons. The fluidity of politics and the relationships between the governors and the governed offer important lessons on the failure of some African states to live up to the expectations of the masses. The political and economic ideologies adopted at independence also reveal why there are different levels of development in the East African countries.

First Wave

Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania may have chosen broadly similar trajectories after independence. Numerous explanations have been offered in attempts to explain why they chose the directions they did. Although some colonial factors, as Ogot and Ochieng 1995 contends, may have contributed to direction the countries took after independence, others argue that the formation and growth of the independent states were determined by the people, leadership, and ideologies embraced by the states. Political and economic ideologies adopted by the three countries and their leadership determined their success or failure as independent states. After independence, Kenya adopted a more liberal economic system and a quasi-democratic ideology, and Tanzania, African socialism. Barkan and Okumu 1979 compares the different ideological positions. However, even though there is a tendency to consider the two styles as different, there is a feeling that there were similarities in the kind of socialism practiced in Kenya and Tanzania. In this regard, Leys 1975 explains the factors contributing to the level of development in Kenya (see State Management). The neocolonialism argument has been advanced elsewhere, particularly by Odinga 1967 (see Leadership), as the cause of discontent in parts of Africa where the hopes of the African populace were dashed by their new Black masters. Gertzel 1970, Ahluwalia 1996, and Kyle 1999 give their own accounts of the politics of Kenya and what shaped the type of polity adopted at that infant stage of the country. This may include issues of cultural politics, as Giblin and Maddox 2005 posits, although that work relates to Tanzania. Some individuals within government—for example, Mboya in Kenya—may have influenced the direction the country took, as explained in Mboya 1963. Mboya’s life was, however, cut short when he was assassinated in the street in Nairobi. Various theories have been advanced to explain his elimination, as Gimode 1996 seeks to do. This work also gives insights into Mboya’s thinking about the social, economic, and political analysis of postcolonial Africa.

  • Ahluwalia, Pal. Post-Colonialism and the Politics of Kenya. Commack, NY: Nova Science, 1996.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This work examines politics in Kenya from independence to the country emerging from the yokes of authoritarian single-party politics in 1991 to the end of the 20th century. It examines the turmoil created by an emerging dissident political class in the late 1960s through the 1970s and even the 1980s.

    Find this resource:

  • Barkan, Joel, and John Okumu, eds. Politics and Public Policy in Kenya and Tanzania. New York: Praeger, 1979.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    A volume looking largely at comparative politics in Kenya and Tanzania, including ideological issues informing party politics in the two countries, and the political organization and management of the two countries.

    Find this resource:

  • Gertzel, Cherry. The Politics of Independent Kenya, 1963–8. London: Heinemann, 1970.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This gives an account of the politics of Kenya, and focuses on the intrigues, power struggles, and divisions within the ruling party, KANU, in the first five years of independence.

    Find this resource:

  • Giblin, James, and Gregory Maddox, eds. In Search of a Nation: Histories of Authority and Dissidence in Tanzania. Oxford: James Currey, 2005.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This examines cultural politics in Tanzania. It also looks at how local people interpreted, criticized, and produced political legitimacy in Tanzania, particularly during Julius Nyerere’s presidency.

    Find this resource:

  • Gimode, Edwin. Thomas Joseph Mboya: A Biography. Nairobi, Kenya: East African Educational Publishers, 1996.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    A biographical work looking at the life of Tom Mboya, a popular Kenyan politician assassinated in the street in Nairobi in 1969. It documents Mboya’s contribution to the struggle movement, trade union involvement, and his view of the social, economic, and political analysis of postcolonial Africa.

    Find this resource:

  • Kyle, Keith. The Politics of the Independence of Kenya. New York: St. Martin’s, 1999.

    DOI: 10.1057/9780230377707Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This gives an account of the first years of independence in Kenya. It details the transition from colonialism to independence. It also gives an account of the people involved, particularly the founding president Jomo Kenyatta and some people in government, such as Tom Mboya.

    Find this resource:

  • Mboya, Tom. Freedom and After. Nairobi, Kenya: East African Educational Publishers, 1963.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Partly autobiographical, the book details the life of Tom Mboya, his contribution to the freedom struggle in Kenya, the problems faced in the country after independence, the East African Community, and Africa in general.

    Find this resource:

  • Ogot, Bethwell, and William Ochieng, eds. Decolonization and Independence in Kenya: 1940–93. Nairobi, Kenya: East African Educational Publishers, 1995.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    A collection of articles on the struggle for independence and the creation and development of Kenya as a state. Examines the period between 1945 and 1955, which the authors call the formative years of the state; and the decisive years between 1956 and 1963, when Kenya gained independence. It also looks at the regimes of Jomo Kenyatta and Daniel arap Moi.

    Find this resource:

Second Wave

That post-independence Africa is replete with problems, the most serious being poor, unaccountable, and autocratic leadership, is hardly debatable. Despite the overwhelming optimism at independence that the new African leaders would transform their countries and make things better for their people, it was soon discovered that some were in fact worse than the colonial masters. Soon thereafter, the quest for second liberation started in earnest, even though in most cases campaigners for reform were detained, jailed after sham trials, or sent into exile. It was not until the late 1980s that the wave of second liberation became stronger, leading to multi-party democracy, although the quality of this is often wanting or debatable. The second liberation campaigns started much earlier, with a determined group of people intent on cultivating an equitable, more accountable, and transparent leadership and society. In the struggle for accountable, transparent, and responsible governments and leadership, numerous issues have arisen, well captured by Chweya 2002 (see Elections) and Wanyande, et al. 2007. The “big man syndrome” common in Africa did not easily give way. Karimi and Ochieng 1980 captures this struggle quite well, detailing the extent to which some of those close to Kenyatta went in their attempts to prevent anybody outside the Kikuyu ethnic group from assuming power in the event of his death. The period between his ascendancy to power at independence in 1963 and his death in 1978 is replete with intrigues that are interesting to read about. Barkan 2004 analyzes Kenya’s democratic and political processes, particularly after Moi stepped down—not of his own volition, but because he was constitutionally barred from running in the 2002 election. Other countries may not be so lucky. Even though Uganda has made great strides and is largely peaceful as of 2011, Yoweri Museveni seems to have overstayed his welcome. Tripp 2010 looks at the long period Museveni has been in power and the consequences of his grip on power. In some cases, as Mamdani 1996 holds, colonial legacies determine the kind of governance practiced in different countries, particularly in Uganda, which he analyzes.

  • Barkan, Joel. “Kenya after Moi.” Foreign Affairs 83.1 (2004): 87–100.

    DOI: 10.2307/20033831Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Explores the place of Kenya after its second president, Daniel arap Moi, who had been in power for twenty-four years. It looks at whether his successor, Mwai Kibaki, can manage to govern Kenya after the many years of Moi.

    Find this resource:

  • Karimi, Joseph, and Philip Ochieng. The Kenyatta Succession. Nairobi, Kenya: Transafrica, 1980.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Details efforts by politicians from central Kenya, the Kikuyu, to prevent the ascendancy of Daniel arap Moi, a Kalenjin, to power after the death of Kenya’s founding president, Jomo Kenyatta, a Kikuyu. Examines the role of ethnicity in power relations in Kenya.

    Find this resource:

  • Mamdani, Mahmood. Citizen and Subject: Contemporary Africa and the Legacy of Late Colonialism. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1996.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This work analyzes obstacles to democratization in post-independence Africa. Using case studies of Uganda and South Africa, the work demonstrates the influence of colonialism on democracy in the two countries.

    Find this resource:

  • Oyugi, Walter. “Coalition Politics and Coalition Governments in Africa.” Journal of Contemporary African Studies 24.1 (2006): 53–79.

    DOI: 10.1080/02589000500513739Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Looks at the efficacy of coalition politics and governments in the continent, and the convenience of such arrangements where there are contested elections, as was the case in Kenya after the disputed poll of December 2007.

    Find this resource:

  • Tripp, Aili Mari. Museveni’s Uganda: Paradoxes of Power in a Hybrid Regime. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner, 2010.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Examines politics in Uganda since 1986, when Yoweri Museveni became the country’s president. It examines the political and economic policies of President Museveni, the political intrigues that have characterized that regime, his relationship with various arms of government including the legislature and judiciary, and other actors including the media and civil society.

    Find this resource:

  • Wanyande, Peter, Mary Omosa, and Ludeki Chweya, eds. Governance and Transition Politics in Kenya. Nairobi, Kenya: University of Nairobi Press, 2007.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This collection examines a wide range of issues related to governance in Kenya. It looks at political ideology, arguing that Kenya has adopted a capitalist ideology disguised as African socialism. The work also examines leadership and governance, political change, coalition politics, conflict management, and gender politics.

    Find this resource:

Politics of Governance

Governance is a major factor in the success, failure, or stability of African states. Often we are told that African, and East African, leadership has failed the people. Politicians’ styles of leadership, management of state affairs, and relationship with the people influence the way they govern, and whether they lead popular or unpopular regimes. East African countries have had their share of problems, including poor and ineffective leadership, rigged or stolen elections, corruption, and unaccountable and irresponsible management of state affairs and government.

Elections

Although genuine and frequent free and fair elections are considered the cornerstone of democracy, the polls have sometimes been used by the strongmen of Africa to legitimize their stay in power. Often elections are rigged or stolen, or the playing field made so uneven that they are more or less a sham. Rutten, et al. 2001 analyzes Kenya’s elections of 1997, in which President Daniel arap Moi was standing for the last time. As one who had almost perfected the art of rigging, President Moi is the subject of numerous works, including Anderson 2003, which looks at how candidates are sometimes chosen not because they are popular but due to favors owed. Chweya 2002 examines some of these factors, and others that determine and inform power relations, and the place of elections in Kenya and by extension Africa, where similar electoral anomalies are commonplace. Sometimes the consequences of stolen elections can be dire, as was the case in Kenya in 2007. As Lafargue 2009 argues, numerous factors contributed to the violence that followed the 2007 elections, one being the stolen vote.

  • Anderson, David. “Briefing: Kenya’s Elections 2002—The Dawning of a New Era?” African Affairs 102 (2003): 331–342.

    DOI: 10.1093/afraf/adg007Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Looks at the elections of 2002 and how Daniel arap Moi’s chosen heir Uhuru Kenyatta, son of founding president Jomo Kenyatta, lost to the National Rainbow Coalition, an amalgamation of numerous political parties, and the transformation that win brought to Kenya’s political scene.

    Find this resource:

  • Chweya, Ludeki, ed. Electoral Politics in Kenya. Nairobi, Kenya: Claripress, 2002.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Examines the factors that determine or inform power relations in Kenya, including ethnicity and political parties, and factors that determine electoral outcome, such as voter education, media, and even the role of external actors like the donor community and Western governments through their local embassies or missions.

    Find this resource:

  • Lafargue, Jérôme, ed. The General Elections in Kenya, 2007. Paris: IFRA, 2009.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This work documents the Kenyan election of 2007, considered the catalyst of one of the worst outbreaks of political and ethnic violence in Africa. It considers the role of various actors, including religious organizations and the media, in the political violence, and the consequences of the chaos that followed the disputed outcome of that election.

    Find this resource:

  • Rutten, Marcel, Alamin Mazrui, and François Grignon, eds. Out for the Count: The 1997 General Elections and Prospects for Democracy in Kenya. Kampala, Uganda: Fountain, 2001.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Examines the 1997 general election in Kenya, looking at both the processes and at technical issues such as voter registration, campaigning, and vote counting. It looks at various issues including the ethnic violence and tensions in places like Likoni on the coast, the candidacy of Charity Ngilu, and the battle between the opposition parties and the then ruling party KANU.

    Find this resource:

Leadership

One of the things that has always characterized African politics is poor leadership. A combination of factors determine the kind of leadership East African countries get. A coup in Uganda brought Idi Amin to power in 1971, ushering in one of the worst periods of Ugandan history, as Allen 2004 shows. Although Uganda’s current president, Yoweri Museveni, is credited somewhat for bringing peace and stability to that country, he has been in power for such a long time that his regime is often compared to those of other African leaders who have refused to relinquish power. The tragedy for such leadership is that it often affects the relationship between the governors and the governed and creates illegitimate governments. Such is the argument advanced in Rubongoya 2007. Amaza 1998 looks at what contributed to Museveni’s guerrilla war before he came to power in 1986. Sometimes African leaders are constantly praised for their purported wisdom and statesmanship, as Morton 1998 does. Although in some cases the praise is deserved (see Mwakikagile 2008 on Nyerere), there is a feeling that it is offered to massage the egos of despotic leaders—as is the case when Morton 1998 calls Moi a “statesman.” Amaza 1998 is similar. This becomes especially problematic when people start to question the poor policies of those so-called great leaders or statesmen. Political independence becomes useless, as Odinga 1967 holds. Other leaders may deserve their praise; Mbelle, et al. 2002 examines the economic policies of Nyerere, who is often called a true statesman.

  • Allen, John. Idi Amin. San Diego, CA: Blackbirch, 2004.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Describes the events leading to Amin’s rise to power, his brutal reign as Uganda’s president, how he was ousted, and what happened in Uganda afterward.

    Find this resource:

  • Amaza, Odanga Ori. Museveni’s Long March: From Guerrilla to Statesman. Kampala, Uganda: Fountain, 1998.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This looks at the life of Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni. Somewhat flattering, this book seeks to promote an understanding of Museveni; whether he can be called a statesman is another issue altogether. It examines Museveni’s reasons for taking up arms and his ascent to power.

    Find this resource:

  • Mbelle, Ammon, Godwin Mjema, and Ali Kilindo. The Nyerere Legacy and Economic Policy Making in Tanzania. Dar es Salaam, Tanzania: Dar es Salaam University Press, 2002.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This work examines the legacy of Tanzania’s founding president, still fondly referred to as Mwalimu (“Teacher”) Julius Kambarage Nyerere. It particularly examines Nyerere’s thoughts on poverty, governance issues (specifically corruption) delivery of social services, the external sector, and fiscal issues, among others.

    Find this resource:

  • Morton, Andrew. Moi: The Making of an African Statesman. London: Michael O’Mara, 1998.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    A biography of Kenya’s second president, Daniel arap Moi. A somewhat flattering book detailing the achievements of Moi despite the overarching notion that his regime abused human rights and was intolerant of dissent and of people or organizations agitating for democracy.

    Find this resource:

  • Mwakikagile, Godfrey. Nyerere and Africa: End of an Era. 4th ed. Dar es Salaam, Tanzania: New Africa, 2008.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This book examines the life and achievements of Tanzania’s founding president Julius Nyerere, who died in October 1999. A semi-biographical account of Nyerere’s life, the book also examines some of the events that took place across Africa during the postcolonial period and the role Nyerere played in them.

    Find this resource:

  • Odinga, Oginga. Not Yet Uhuru: The Autobiography of Oginga Odinga. Nairobi, Kenya: East African Educational Publishers, 1967.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    A personal account by Kenya’s first vice president of postcolonial Kenya and the failings of the regime of President Jomo Kenyatta, particularly with regard to the distribution of national resources, notably land. He argues that people were still “colonized” by new Black masters.

    Find this resource:

  • Rubongoya, Joshua. Regime Hegemony in Museveni’s Uganda: Pax Musevenica. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007.

    DOI: 10.1057/9780230603363Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This examines the struggle for the restoration of legitimate power in Uganda after the takeover of government in 1986 by President Yoweri Museveni’s National Resistance Movement Army.

    Find this resource:

State Management

The capacity of leaders to manage state affairs effectively and accountably is considered a hallmark of good leadership. Although of course other factors contribute to such conclusions, the ability to differentiate between personal and public/state issues is fundamental to a well-functioning polity. In fact, how well the task of public affairs is managed determines whether there is development or decay, as Hansen and Twaddle 1988 contends. Written only two years after Yoweri Museveni came to power after years of a guerrilla campaign, this book may not judge him fairly. However, Hansen and Twaddle 1998 continues to examine Museveni’s record, questioning the factuality of his seemingly impressive record. This may be compared with Havnevik 1993, which examines the limits of what the author calls development. Development from above may be commonplace in East Africa. Gertzel, et al. 1969 lays the foundation for examining such approaches. So does Leys 1975, which looks at how neocolonial governance and economic strategies underdeveloped Kenya. Sometimes such strategies led to crises. Boesen, et al. 1986 looks at the crisis in Tanzania in the late 1970s, which may have been triggered in part by the economic and political policies of President Julius Nyerere, whose leadership (and that of Tanzania’s third president, Benjamin Mkapa) is examined by Havnevik and Isinika 2010. In later years, countries in East Africa have begun to devolve and decentralize. Kibua and Mwabu 2008 examine the efficacy of such moves, albeit only in Kenya.

  • Boesen, Jannik, Kjell Havnevik, Julhani Koponen, and Rie Odgaard, eds. Tanzania: Crisis and Struggle for Survival. Uppsala, Sweden: Nordic Africa Institute, 1986.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This work analyzes what it calls “Tanzania in crisis”: the financial crisis in Tanzania in 1978–1979 and the long-term political, moral, and social consequences of those economic problems.

    Find this resource:

  • Gertzel, Cherry, Maure Leonard Goldschmidt, and Donald Rotchild. Government and Politics in Kenya: A Nation Building Text. Nairobi, Kenya: East African Publishing House, 1969.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Six years into Kenya’s independence, this work examines the politics of post-independence Kenya, and the factors informing national development. It also examines the political intrigues within the government of founding president Jomo Kenyatta.

    Find this resource:

  • Hansen, Holger, and Michael Twaddle, eds. Uganda Now: Between Decay and Development. London: James Currey, 1988.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Just two years after coming to power after a protracted guerrilla war, this book asks whether the revolutionary government of Yoweri Museveni’s National Resistance Movement could turn Uganda around, from decay to development. Examining this subject within the context of Africa’s development crisis, the book also discusses various factors that have contributed to the crisis in Uganda.

    Find this resource:

  • Hansen, Holger, and Michael Twaddle, eds. Developing Uganda. Oxford: James Currey, 1998.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This volume examines development in Uganda since President Yoweri Museveni’s National Resistance Movement came to power in 1986. It focuses particularly on whether Museveni’s seemingly impressive achievements are realistic, and what the future portends for this country.

    Find this resource:

  • Havnevik, Kjell. Tanzania: The Limits to Development from Above. Uppsala, Sweden: Nordic Africa Institute, 1993.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This work looks at the “multifaceted interventionist strategies” in Tanzania, and how they have affected development there. The author argues that these policies, implemented by force by both the colonial and postcolonial states with the aid of donor agencies (specifically the World Bank and International Monetary Fund), have led to a state-dominated, externally dependent and undemocratic society.

    Find this resource:

  • Havnevik, Kjell, and Aida Isinika, eds. Tanzania in Transition: From Nyerere to Mkapa. Dar es Salaam, Tanzania: Mkuki na Nyota, 2010.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This work attempts to examine the regimes of founding president Julius Nyerere through to third president Benjamin Mkapa, who left office in 2005. It looks at various reforms undertaken during this period, especially economic and political ones. It is especially interested in the legacy of Nyerere.

    Find this resource:

  • Kibua, Thomas, and Germano Mwabu, eds. Decentralization and Devolution in Kenya: New Approaches. Nairobi, Kenya: University of Nairobi Press, 2008.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Examines the recent decentralization and devolution innovations in Kenya and their consequences for the delivery of public services and goods. It looks at the institutional and organizational environments in which decentralization and devolution reforms have been taking place over the past three decades.

    Find this resource:

  • Leys, Colin. Underdevelopment in Kenya: The Political Economy of Neo-Colonialism. Berkeley and Los Angles: University of California Press, 1975.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    A seminal work looking at how neocolialism, governance, and economic management after independence contributed to underdevelopment in Kenya. It especially seeks to apply the theory of underdevelopment in the analysis of the situation in Kenya after the attainment of independence from Britain in 1963.

    Find this resource:

Multipartyism and Political Transformation

The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989 brought serious changes to many parts of the world. One of the key consequences of this seminal geopolitical moment was the introduction of multi-party politics and some form of democracy in many countries. In East Africa, this marked the end of single-partyism, especially in Kenya and Tanzania, and the reintroduction of multi-party politics in the early 1990s. Despite this, however, the three East African countries did not genuinely democratize immediately. In effect, the citizens of East Africa had still to put up with authoritarian and quasi-democratic regimes.

Transition Politics

Transition politics have become all too common in East Africa. Whether it is the handing over of power from one president to another (Widner 1992) or the transfer of power between parties, “transition” has become a buzzword. Although this ought to be a natural event, especially after elections, the unpredictability of East African politics means transition is not always easy. In some cases, the transition is replete with problems and cannot be considered to have been genuine, as was the case in 1992 in Kenya during the transition from single-partyism to multi-partyism. In effect, the 1992 transition from autocracy to democracy was not complete, and thus building an open society (as Mute, et al. 2002 argues) was perhaps not possible. In some cases, the ruling party’s grip on power is so strong that reform becomes almost impossible (Nyirabu 2002). Even in places where it occurs, it is hardly genuine as politicians shift from one party to another—frequent in Kenya around election time. Throup and Hornsby 1998, Wanyande and Odhiambo-Mbai 2003, and Brown 2004 look at the factors informing and sometimes obstructing political transitions in Kenya.

  • Brown, Stephen. “Theorising Kenya’s Protracted Transition to Democracy.” Journal of Contemporary African Studies 22.3 (2004): 325–342.

    DOI: 10.1080/0258900042000283494Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Looks at Kenya’s electoral politics and the transition to democracy, particularly after the country’s second president, Daniel arap Moi, stood down after twenty-four years at the helm. It argues that even though the 1992 elections were flawed, the country made a transition to democracy, albeit not liberal democracy.

    Find this resource:

  • Mute, Lawrence, Wanza Kioko, and Symonds Kichamu Akivaga, eds. Building an Open Society: The Politics of Transition in Kenya. Nairobi, Kenya: Claripress, 2002.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Examines power transfer in Kenya, particularly the issues surrounding the epochal 2002 general election and the transfer of power to the new president from the autocratic leadership of President Daniel arap Moi, who had been in power for close to a quarter-century.

    Find this resource:

  • Nyirabu, Mohabe. “The Multiparty Reform Process in Tanzania: The Dominance of the Ruling Party.” African Journal of Political Science 7.2 (2002): 99–112.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This article argues that Tanzanians should not depend on political parties for their participation in the political and democratic processes. It argues that democracy requires active public engagement in the democratization process, which the author rightly considers to be more than just multi-partyism.

    Find this resource:

  • Throup, David, and Charles Hornsby. Multi-Party Politics in Kenya: The Kenyatta and Moi States and the Triumph of the System in the 1992 Election. London: James Currey, 1998.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Traces the development of multi-partyism in Kenya after the repeal of Section 2(A) of the constitution to allow for multi-partyism. It looks at the period between the first multi-party election in 1992 and the second general election of 1997. It examines the events and their reasons, and challenges engendered by the changes in the constitution.

    Find this resource:

  • Wanyande, Peter, and Crispin Odhiambo-Mbai, eds. The Politics of Transition in Kenya: From KANU to NARC. Nairobi, Kenya: Heinrich Boll Foundation, 2003.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Examines the political process in Kenya, and the transition from a one-party state under KANU, to the advent of multi-party democracy in 1991, until 2003, when that party was ousted from power by the National Rainbow Coalition (NARC), an amalgamation of fifteen political parties that came together to compete against the monolithic KANU party.

    Find this resource:

  • Widner, Jennifer. The Rise of a Party-State in Kenya: From “Harambee” to “Nyayo!”. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1992.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Examines the intrigues behind the two regimes of President Jomo Kenyatta (Harambee) and Daniel arap Moi (Nyayo!). It documents the single-party regimes in Africa with a particular focus on Kenya, detailing the roles played by ethnicity and clientism in power acquisition and relations particularly in nation-states like Kenya.

    Find this resource:

Democracy and Authoritarianism

Democracy is a contested form of governance not only in East Africa but also in other parts of the world. In East Africa it is often wrongly equated with multi-party politics. In fact, multi-partyism and democracy are contested issues in most African countries, and the struggle for these is captured by Murunga and Nasong’o 2007, which details some of the challenges people face in their battle for democracy. In the works cited here, one finds the various actors without whose input the battle would have been more difficult. However, as happens too often in Africa, democracy is replete with challenges, including reversal of achievements made during the democratization process. This is the subject tackled in Kanyinga and Okello 2010, which is especially key to understanding the causes of the post-election violence in Kenya in late December 2007 and early 2008. Thus building democracy becomes a difficult task. In Uganda this has become more difficult particularly because of the “no-party” approach, which was only changed recently. As Mugaju and Oloka-Onyango 2000 and Kizza, et al. 2008 contend, democracy is difficult to achieve in a situation where there are still obstacles to genuine multi-party political participation. Nor is the situation any better in Tanzania, where there are also barriers to the development of a genuine democracy. Pinkney 1997 and Mukandala, et al. 2004, for example, look at the influences of single-partyism and the ruling party that has been in power in Tanzania since independence. However, this may change if the grassroots actively participate in the political processes. Mushi 2001 and Snyder 2008 look at such grassroots effects on the democratic process in Tanzania.

  • Kanyinga, Karuti, and Duncan Okello, eds. Tensions and Reversals in Democratic Transitions: The Kenya General 2007 General Elections. Nairobi, Kenya: Society for International Development and Institute for Development Studies, University of Nairobi, 2010.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    The volume examines various issues related to the “deleterious” general election of 2007, whose disputed results led to deadly “ethnicised” violence that claimed thousands of lives and displaced hundreds of thousands of people from their homes and farms. It questions the political and democratic processes in “fragmented” societies like Kenya’s.

    Find this resource:

  • Kizza, Julius, Sabiti Makara, and Lise Rakner, eds. Electoral Democracy in Uganda: Understanding the Institutional Processes and Outcomes of the 2006 Multiparty Elections. Kampala, Uganda: Fountain, 2008.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This book analyzes the institutionalization of democratic practice in the country with reference to the 2006 elections. The focus is on elections as a test of the strength and legitimacy of political institutions and posits that elections are more than the casting and counting of ballots.

    Find this resource:

  • Mugaju, Justus, and Joseph Oloka-Onyango, eds. No-party Democracy in Uganda: Myths and Realities. Kampala, Uganda: Fountain, 2000.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This work examines the no-party model once practiced in Uganda. Although this has now changed, this was the position until not long ago when it was illegal to belong to political parties. The work also examines the case for and against multi-partyism and the justification for no-party democracy, as well as its myths and realities.

    Find this resource:

  • Mukandala, Rwekaza, Samuel Mushi, and Casmir Rubagumya. People’s Representatives: Theory and Practice of Parliamentary Democracy in Tanzania. Kampala, Uganda: Fountain, 2004.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This work examines the development of Tanzania’s parliamentary democracy from before independence to the multi-party era. It also examines the tensions between parliament and the executive during this period. It looks at the place of parliament in the growth of democracy in Tanzania, and at whether it has the capacity to assert its place in the face of a strong executive.

    Find this resource:

  • Murunga, Gabriel, and Shadrack Nasong’o, eds. Kenya: The Struggle for Democracy. London: Zed, 2007.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    A collection of articles on the struggle for democracy in Kenya, particularly during the regime of Kenya’s second president, Daniel arap Moi, and the first government of President Mwai Kibaki. It posits that although Kenya is now considered a democracy, this seems to be somewhat illusory owing to authoritarian reflexes.

    Find this resource:

  • Mushi, Samuel. Development and Democratisation in Tanzania: A Study of Rural Grassroots Politics. Kampala, Uganda: Fountain, 2001.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This considers the role of civil society in Tanzania’s development and transition to democracy. It analyzes the structures and management of civil groups, and their relationships with communities and government in attempts to determine the extent to which they represent a force for change.

    Find this resource:

  • Pinkney, Robert. Democracy and Dictatorship in Ghana and Tanzania. New York: St. Martin’s, 1997.

    DOI: 10.1057/9780230379589Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This examines democracy in Ghana and Tanzania after long periods of single-party rule. It compares them with regard to their civil societies, prior regimes, democratic transition processes and outcomes, and potential for democratic consolidation. It looks at obstacles to democratic development, and considers conditions that have made the emergence of multi-party politics possible in the two countries.

    Find this resource:

  • Snyder, Katherine. “Building Democracy from Below: A Case from Rural Tanzania.” Journal of Modern African Studies 46.2 (2008): 287–304

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This article examines the changing nature of state-society relations in Tanzania, and particularly the way rural people engage with the state. This gives the rural people the capacity to affect power relations. It argues that this change is wrought largely through economic and political changes introduced in the country in the early 1990s, when Tanzania embraced multi-partyism.

    Find this resource:

Participation

Participation has been called the sine qua non of politics. In fact, people are becoming hugely politicized, and their engagement with the political systems across East Africa has over the years increased tremendously. Numerous factors have contributed to this rise in political activity. Gibbon 1995 argues that shifts in political relationships and some groups, particularly civil society organizations, may have had a hand in people’s increased politicization and political participation. In Tanzania, the voices of workers and their representatives are now being heard thanks to political changes. Their participation will likely affect power relations, as Chambua 2002 tells us. Maguire 2008 details how particular communities have become more organized and have enhanced their participation in both political and democratic processes. In some instances, however, people are disenfranchised for various reasons, mainly as a result of violence, conflict, or marginalization. In Kenya, for instance, Bienen 1974 gives a good account of how the people were manipulated and controlled and thus their participation in the political process skewed in favor of the ruling elite.

  • Bienen, Henry. Kenya: The Politics of Participation and Control. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1974.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Examines political participation in postcolonial Kenya, and how the regime of founding president Jomo Kenyatta influenced and controlled participation. It offers insights into what such enfeebled participation meant for the growth of accountable and good governance, and how that entrenched personality-cult politics.

    Find this resource:

  • Chambua, Samuel. Democratic Participation in Tanzania: The Voices of Workers Representatives. Dar es Salaam, Tanzania: Dar es Salaam University Press, 2002.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Examines the consequences of structural adjustment programs and globalization on Tanzania’s politics and state, particularly during the 1980s. It is especially interested in how workers were affected by such shifting changes in the political and economic arena, and how such shifts affected or influenced their participation in Tanzanian politics.

    Find this resource:

  • Gibbon, Peter, ed. Markets, Civil Society and Democracy in Kenya. Uppsala, Sweden: Nordic Africa Institute, 1995.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    A collection of works examining grassroots development and change. The second and third parts of the book are particularly interesting as they deal with social-political and voluntary development activities, and religious institutions and political liberalization in Kenya.

    Find this resource:

  • Maguire, G. Andrew. Toward “Uhuru” in Tanzania: The Politics of Participation. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2008.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This book examines political participation in Sukumaland during the colonial period and in independent Tanzania. It argues that because of its demonstrated organized political system, Sukumaland became the British administration’s experimental area for radical transformation of indigenous political institutions. It also became President Julius Nyerere’s testing ground for his African socialism ideas after Tanzania’s independence in 1964.

    Find this resource:

Socialism

Many countries in the world have toyed with the idea of adopting socialism. In East Africa, Tanzania’s first president, Julius Nyerere, came out clearly to state that his country was embracing its version—the African version—of socialism, which is at the heart of Nyerere 1968 and Nyerere 1973. Even though there have been criticisms of Nyerere’s ideology, and of whether he “underdeveloped” his country (see Hyden 1980 and Spalding 1996), some hold that that he managed to hold the country together. Nyerere 1968 is one of those works extolling the virtues of African socialism while castigating the effects of capitalism and obsession with material wealth. Nonetheless, when compared to other East African countries, Tanzania, with its mineral wealth and large land area, should have done better. No wonder Spalding 1996 argues that Nyerere’s policies were a failure. A comparison is made between capitalism and socialism in Kenya and Tanzania by Barkan 1994, although Mohiddin 1981 argues that both countries adopted socialism—only the degree of socialism practiced in the two countries differed.

  • Barkan, Joel, ed. Beyond Capitalism vs. Socialism in Kenya and Tanzania. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner, 1994.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    A collection of articles looking at the political and economic organizations in the two countries. This includes the countries’ parties, state and civil society, multi-party politics, economic policies, international relations, foreign policies, and regional integration, particularly within the East African Community, and its politics.

    Find this resource:

  • Hyden, Goran. Beyond Ujamaa in Tanzania: Underdevelopment and an Uncaptured Peasantry. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1980.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Ujamaa as a political system espoused by Tanzania’s founding president Julius Nyerere focused on “African socialism,” where the peasant was at the center of the system. This work tries to understand the role of the peasant in a modern international system, asking whether the peasant mode of production can transform Tanzania, and by extension Africa.

    Find this resource:

  • Mohiddin, Ahmed. African Socialism in Two Countries. Totowa, NJ: Barnes & Noble, 1981.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    A comparative analysis and interpretation of the two types of socialism adopted in Kenya and Tanzania. It details historical origins as well as ideological reasons for their adoption of socialism. It seems to argue that socialism was adopted because of the need to create viable states after independence.

    Find this resource:

  • Nyerere, Julius. Freedom and Socialism/Uhuru na Ujamaa: A Selection from Writings and Speeches 1965–1967. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1968.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    A collection of speeches by Tanzania’s founding president, extolling his socialist ideology and strategy. He somewhat calls Ujamaa African socialism, and believes that that would be the strategy employed in the political and economic development of his country, particularly after independence.

    Find this resource:

  • Nyerere, Julius. Freedom and Development/Uhuru na Maendeleo: A Selection from Writings and Speeches, 1968–1973. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1973.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    A collection of speeches and writings, this work addresses Tanzania’s development strategy, particularly the adoption of a socialist ideology and strategy. Nyerere details what he expects of Tanzania, and hardly describes the condition as it was at the time of writing the work, as he indicates in his preface.

    Find this resource:

  • Spalding, Nancy. “The Tanzanian Peasant and Ujamaa: A Study in Contradictions.” Third World Quarterly 17.1 (1996): 89–108.

    DOI: 10.1080/01436599650035798Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Argues that although the founder of Ujamaa, Tanzania’s founding president, is revered across the world, his policies were a failure. It looks at the political culture in Tanzania and asks whether it fitted into Nyerere’s policy agenda, and asks whether the political agendas and rhetoric should be measured against historical reality.

    Find this resource:

Constitutionalism

After more than two decades of trying, Kenya finally got a new constitution in August 2010. The struggle is captured in Kibwana 1996 and Kibwana 1998. As one of the leading constitutional scholars in Kenya, Kibwana also played an active role in the constitution-making process and was at the forefront of the struggle for multi-partyism as well as democracy backed by a strong constitution. The same background is applied in the work he coedited, Oloka-Onyango, et al. 1996, which looks at the East African political environment particularly because the countries shared similar political profiles, undergoing similar experiences in their quest for new constitutional dispensations allowing for more participatory politics and democracy. As is evident, the constitutional processes were marked by numerous challenges, and civil society and professional bodies as well as ordinary people played pivotal roles. As Mutua 2008 holds, the new constitutional dispensation would not have been realized without the input of civil society, opposition parties, and other progressive actors in society.

  • Kibwana, Kivutha. Sowing the Constitutional Seed in Kenya. Nairobi, Kenya: Claripress, 1996.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    A selection of articles by a law professor, focusing on Kenya’s struggle for democracy and what he calls “genuine constitutionalism” in the 1990s after the repeal of Section 2(A) of the constitution to allow for multi-partyism. He looks at the constitutions of various political parties, particularly the Forum for Restoration of Democracy (FORD) and the Democratic Party (DP), founded by Kenya’s President Mwai Kibaki.

    Find this resource:

  • Kibwana, Kivutha, ed. Readings in Law and Politics in Africa: A Case Study of Kenya. Nairobi, Kenya: Claripress, 1998.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    A collection of articles detailing the application and/or role of the law on politics. Documents constitutionalism in particular as the basis for the democratic form of government and governance in Kenya.

    Find this resource:

  • Kioko, Wanza, ed. Constitutionalism in East Africa: Progress, Challenges and Prospects in 2007. Kampala, Uganda: Fountain, 2007.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This examines the state of constitutionalism in East African countries in 2007. It specifically focuses on four states—Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, and Zanzibar—although the first substantive chapter looks at the role of the East African Community (comprising Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania) in the state of constitutionalism in East Africa.

    Find this resource:

  • Mutua, Makau. Kenya’s Quest For Democracy: Taming Leviathan. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner, 2008.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Examines the struggle Kenya has gone through in its quest for democracy. It explores the role civil society and opposition parties have played in the quest for change, constitutional reform, and good governance.

    Find this resource:

  • Oloka-Onyango, Joseph, ed. Constitutionalism in Africa: Creating Opportunities, Facing Challenges. Kampala, Uganda: Fountain, 2001.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This volume considers the issue of constitutionalism in recent political evolutions in many African countries. Some of the issues discussed herein include pan-Africanism and constitutionalism, culture, ethnicity and citizenship, gender, and affirmative action in post-1995 Uganda.

    Find this resource:

  • Oloka-Onyango, Joseph, Joseph Kivutha Kibwana, and Chris Maina Peter, eds. Law and the Struggle for Democracy in East Africa. Nairobi, Kenya: Claripress, 1996.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    A volume examining the democratic struggles in East Africa, and the legal environment in which this mode of governance operates in East Africa. It looks at the nature of democratic transitions in East Africa, the history of democratic governance in Africa, democracy and cultural values, participatory democracy and civil society, gender and democratization, electoral design and performance, and constitution making and reform.

    Find this resource:

Ethnicity

Ethnicity has become an integral part of politics not only in East Africa but also in Africa generally. This is largely because people consider themselves members of “tribes,” and their participation in politics (or indeed disenfranchisement, according to Kasfir 1976) is sometimes determined by their ethnic affiliation. As Mwakikagile 2001 rightly observes, ethnicity is a key determinant of power and power relations in most African countries, and perhaps nowhere is that more widespread than in Kenya and Nigeria. As part of what defines Africans’ identity, ethnicity is used, misused, and sometimes discarded as circumstances dictate. It is often used as a tool for political mobilization and participation (Kasfir 1976). This mobilization is seen as part of the democratic process, an issue that Ogude 2002 and Omolo 2002 address. In electoral processes and power games, ethnicity is considered part of the survival strategies employed by leaders who seek to lengthen their stay in power, as Atieno-Odhiambo 2002 contends. But how does one address the issue of tribalism and make it less emotional in nation-states? This seems to be the question Klopp 2002 asks, although the argument that resistance politics can even take “ethnic” forms while including a wider and more inclusive civic and national consciousness does not seem to answer the questions of the negative consequences of ethnic activism.

  • Atieno-Odhiambo, Elisha Stephen. “Hegemonic Enterprises and Instrumentalities of Survival: Ethnicity and Democracy in Kenya.” African Studies 61.2 (2002): 223–249.

    DOI: 10.1080/0002018022000032938aSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Details the role of ethnicity in democracy, and how tribalism influences electoral politics. Deals with the issue of political misuse of ethnicity, and how this has become an instrument of political survival.

    Find this resource:

  • Kasfir, Nelson. The Shrinking Political Arena: Participation and Ethnicity in African Politics, with a Case Study of Uganda. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1976.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Examines the role of ethnicity in political participation, and even in the disenfranchisement of particular groups. It explores the notion that tribalism determines power and power relations. It places ethnicity as the center of power, and describes how this can generate tensions, particularly because power in many African countries is determined not by genuine democratic participation but by tribal affiliation.

    Find this resource:

  • Klopp, Jacqueline. “Can Moral Ethnicity Trump Political Tribalism? The Struggle for Land and Nation in Kenya.” African Studies 61.2 (2002): 269–294.

    DOI: 10.1080/0002018022000032956Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Argues that political tribalism has often triumphed in Kenya, submerging or neutralizing any potential counter-politics through violence and even genocide. Klopp holds that its politicization can be a hindrance to democracy, but argues that Kenya presents a case where resistance politics can even take “ethnic” form while embracing a wider and more inclusive civic and national consciousness.

    Find this resource:

  • Mwakikagile, Godfrey. Ethnic Politics in Kenya and Nigeria. Huntington, NY: Nova Science, 2001.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Ethnicity is a key determinant of power and power relations in both Kenya and Nigeria. This work looks at how ethnicity has shaped the outcome of electoral activities and the struggle to organize the African nations. It also looks at ethnic tensions, and particularly how violent conflicts have arisen within these countries as a consequence of the often unequal power relations resulting from ethnic identities.

    Find this resource:

  • Ogude, James. “Ethnicity, Nationalism and the Making of Democracy in Kenya: An Introduction.” African Studies 61.2 (2002): 205–207.

    DOI: 10.1080/0002018022000032929Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Explores what the author calls the space existing in Kenya for the mobilization of ethnic consciousness in the country’s political process, and particularly its role in the elections of 1992 and 1997. Ogude argues that given the unequal effects of the modernization process, ethnic identities may have been accentuated, resulting in the gradual development of feelings of dissident subnationalism.

    Find this resource:

  • Omolo, Ken. “Political Ethnicity in the Democratization Process in Kenya.” African Studies 61.2 (2002): 209–221.

    DOI: 10.1080/0002018022000032938Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Looks at how ethnicity and democratization plays out in Kenya’s politics. Omolo argues that in order to get a more nuanced understanding of the ethnicity and democratization nexus in Kenya, one needs to go beyond rhetorical grandstanding by political players into a more systematic analysis that situates the two variables in proper context and perspective.

    Find this resource:

Gender, Race, and Politics

Gender and politics is a now common topic in many parts of the world. This is so because women, especially in developing countries, have long been in the background, and their participation in politics limited. This is changing, however, and women are now in the front line of politics in places like Uganda, as Tripp 2001 shows. Even though in some places they are still marginalized owing to certain cultural and other factors, Thomas 2003 argues that they are making huge strides. As Tripp 2000 posits, women are making huge contributions to the political process. Other minority groups such as Asians are also playing an important role in the political process, although their participation is still minimal. However, their participation in pre-independence and postcolonial East Africa is documented in Gregory 1993, which makes a good reading, given that people now rarely see East African Asians at the forefront of politics.

  • Gregory, Robert. Quest for Equality: Asian Politics in East Africa, 1900–1967. New Delhi: Orient Longman, 1993.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Although there is a sizable Asian population in the East African countries of Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania, they barely engage in political activity. This work examines their involvement in, and disengagement from, politics from the early colonial era until almost immediately after independence.

    Find this resource:

  • Thomas, Lynn. Politics of the Womb: Women, Reproduction, and the State in Kenya. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2003.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This work focuses on what is commonly called “gender politics,” focusing on the problems women encounter in Kenya. It starts by giving an account of female circumcision, now commonly known as female genital mutilation, and the struggle for its eradication in Kenya, and how “reproductive events contribute to the reworking of the political and moral order.”

    Find this resource:

  • Tripp, Aili Mari. Women and Politics in Uganda. Oxford: James Currey, 2000.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This advances the role of women in Ugandan politics. Tripp looks at politics in Uganda from a feminist institutional framework, arguing that although women in Uganda have always played a key role in the political process, their participation and extent of their influence is limited by existing rules, structures, and practices.

    Find this resource:

  • Tripp, Aili Mari. “The Politics of Autonomy and Cooptation in Africa: The Case of the Ugandan Women’s Movement.” Journal of Modern African Studies 39.1 (2001): 101–128.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This article examines the place of the women’s movement in Uganda, and how it has used its position to influence political processes in this country. Tripp also argues that the women’s movement has had a visible impact on policy as a result of its capacity to set its own far-reaching agenda and freely select its own leaders.

    Find this resource:

Religion and Politics

Religion continues to play an important role in the practice of politics in East Africa. Whether it is in the struggle for democracy—especially within the single-party states from independence to the late 1980s, when waves of multi-partyism swept through East Africa—or during the subsequent elections and other political activities, religion has become integral to the way politics is practiced in many countries, as Hansen and Twaddle 1995 and Ludwig 1999 prove. In some instances church programs enhance their members’ political participation, as Bodewes 2010 contends. But religion and politics are still strange bedfellows. Okullu 1984 is perhaps illuminating in this regard, offering insights into the tensions between the church and politics. This is complemented by Sabar 2002, which looks at the frequent politicization of the church. What is interesting in modern times, however, is the role of Islam. Although Islam has not been as visible as Christianity in state affairs, it has started to come out more openly in recent years. Since the reintroduction of multi-partyism in Kenya in 1991, Islam has started to play a pivotal role in the political process (Oded 2000). Yet the rise of radical Islam in many parts of the world has somewhat alienated it from mainstream politics. Rabasa 2009, for instance, looks at the threat posed by radical Islam, especially in Somalia, where Islamists are battling for control of the country. It is not yet clear whether the influence of such radical groups will spread to other parts of East Africa, although fears are spreading of the terror caused by groups such as al-Qaeda and its offshoot al-Shabab.

  • Bodewes, Christine. “Civil Society and the Consolidation of Democracy in Kenya: An Analysis of a Catholic Parish’s Efforts in Kibera Slum.” Journal of Modern African Studies 48.4 (2010): 547–571.

    DOI: 10.1017/S0022278X10000467Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This article examines the capacity of a church’s civic education program to promote democracy. It posits that while the parishioners who participated in the program demonstrated an observable improvement in their democratic values and behavior at a localized level within their own parish groups, the program did not enhance their active participation in politics.

    Find this resource:

  • Hansen, Holger, and Michael Twaddle, eds. Religion and Politics in East Africa: The Period since Independence. London: James Currey, 1995.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    A collection of thirteen articles looking at religion in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, and Sudan. At the heart of the book is the place of religion in politics, and especially its challenge to the status quo. It looks at how the state fought back, sometimes using crude methods in attempts to curtail the influence of religion on politics.

    Find this resource:

  • Ludwig, Frieder. Church and State in Tanzania: Aspects of Changing Relationships, 1961–1994. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 1999.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This examines the relationship between the state and the church in Tanzania, especially under the rubric of multi-partyism. It particularly looks at the place and influence of the church in politics, political leadership, and national identity, among other important issues.

    Find this resource:

  • Oded, Arye. Islam and Politics in Kenya. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner, 2000.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Examines the place of Islam in politics in Kenya, as well as the relationship between the Kenyan state and Islam, and between Islam and Christianity. It also looks at the similarities and differences in the political status of Muslims in the three East African countries of Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.

    Find this resource:

  • Okullu, Henry. Church and Politics in East Africa. Nairobi, Kenya: Uzima, 1974.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Looks at the relationship between the state and church in East Africa. Being a member of clergy himself, Okullu details the sometimes not very rosy relationship between members of the church and autocratic regimes that barely tolerated dissent, especially from the pulpit.

    Find this resource:

  • Rabasa, Angel. Radical Islam in East Africa. Santa Monica, CA: Rand Corporation, 2009.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This details what the author calls “radical Islam,” and particularly the presence of al-Qaeda in East Africa, what has promoted or made it possible for the jihadist movement to take root in this part of Africa, the growth of radical Islam, and what strategies have been employed to deal with terrorism in East Africa.

    Find this resource:

  • Sabar, Galia. Church, State, and Society in Kenya: From Mediation to Opposition, 1963-1993. London: Frank Cass, 2002.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    The church has played a significant role in the struggle for multi-partyism and democracy in Kenya, and for this reason its relationship with the state changes from time to time. This work examines this relationship, and also looks at the politicization of the church’s development work from 1978 to 1992.

    Find this resource:

Conflict

The East African region has been the site of some of the most vicious conflicts, and countries in the broader East African region, including Somalia (see particularly Bekoe 2006 in General Overviews), Ethiopia, Sudan, Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda, Kenya, and the Democratic Republic of Congo have in the recent past been rocked by civil strife and armed conflicts. Even though the genocide in Rwanda in 1994 represents one of the worst human atrocities in recent world political history, “small-scale” genocides have been taking place in northern Uganda, eastern DRC, and parts of western Sudan and even South Sudan. Although numerous factors have been cited as possible causes of conflict, sometimes ethnicity (as Ajulu 2002 and Oucho 2002 posit) is blamed for this, especially in countries without sufficient mineral wealth or where political competition is sometimes seen as a tribal issue, as Nowrojee, et al. 1993 acknowledges. This argument may be supported by Kagwanja and Southall 2010, which identifies ethnicity as one of the causes of Kenya’s 2007–2008 post-election crisis. To Wamwere 2003 it is not just ethnicity but what he calls “negative ethnicity” that is the cause of the conflict in post-independence nation-states in Africa, and more specifically in Kenya. It would then ideally follow that people who have suffered such atrocities would have access to justice. No, unfortunately. In many instances, people’s quest for justice after such conflicts is defeated because they do not have the means or support, local or international, to seek redress. However, as Blattman 2009 argues, victims of violence are quite resilient, and the conflicts they experience can in fact raise their level of political participation, especially voting and community leadership.

  • Ajulu, Rok. “Politicised Ethnicity, Competitive Politics and Conflict in Kenya: A Historical Perspective.” African Studies 61.2 (2002): 251–268.

    DOI: 10.1080/0002018022000032947Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Explores the complex transaction between competitive politics, ethnicity, and ethnic conflict in Kenya’s multi-party system. Argues that ethnicity has emerged as the single most important factor in political competition. Also posits that political activity since the renewal of competitive politics in 1992 has seen the reconstruction of ethnicity, ethnic mobilization, and ethnic conflict as the main instruments of political contestation.

    Find this resource:

  • Blattman, Christopher. “From Violence to Voting: War and Political Participation in Uganda.” American Political Science Review 103.2 (2009): 231–247.

    DOI: 10.1017/S0003055409090212Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This article argues that abductions in northern Uganda by the Lord’s Resistance Army seem to have substantially increased the victims’ political participation, especially voting and community leadership. It also posits that violence may lead to personal growth and political activation.

    Find this resource:

  • Kagwanja, Peter, and Roger Southall, eds. Kenya’s Uncertain Democracy: The Electoral Crisis of 2008. Abingdon, UK: Routledge, 2010.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    The volume examines the general election of December 2007 and how that threatened to tear the country apart, despite the fact that the country had prior to that been considered a stable democracy. The book takes a new look at the 2007 election, the post-election crisis, and the underlying interaction of ethnicity, class, and political power, among other issues.

    Find this resource:

  • Nowrojee, Binaifer, Bronwen Manby, Human Rights Watch, and Africa Watch Committee. Divide and Rule: State-Sponsored Ethnic Violence in Kenya. New York: Human Rights Watch, 1993.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Examines the role the state played in the ethnic violence that followed the first multi-party elections in 1992. It is argued that most of the violence, which resulted in death and disruption in parts of the country, was sponsored by the state, seeking to punish communities opposing the status quo.

    Find this resource:

  • Oucho, John. Undercurrents of Ethnic Conflict in Kenya. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 2002.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Ethnicity has been blamed for various conflicts in Kenya. Ethnic tensions still exist, particularly during and between elections when tribalism influences electoral outcomes, power, and power relations. This work attempts to define and elaborate ethnicity, and tries to apply conflict theory to ethnic conflict. It looks at ethnic conflicts and the nature of ethno-politics, among other issues.

    Find this resource:

  • Wamwere, Koigi. Negative Ethnicity: From Bias to Genocide. New York. Seven Stories, 2003.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Details the consequences of ethnic tensions that exist not only in Kenya but also in other African countries where these have been used to fuel conflict. He uses accounts of tribal or ethnic violence from parts of Kenya’s Rift Valley to illustrate what ethnic rivalry can do to a nation and its politics.

    Find this resource:

Corruption

Corruption has become a major political, economic, and social problem across Africa. Despite the investment of enormous human and monetary resources to deal with the vice, corruption continues unabated in many parts of the African continent. In East Africa, and Kenya in particular, corruption has become almost a national obsession because of its negative consequences for socioeconomic and even political development. Anassi 2005 has dealt with this issue, specifically focusing on government departments in Kenya, while Chweya, et al. 2005 seeks to explore the legal and political means to control the vice. Wrong 2009 explains how difficult it is sometimes to tackle corruption, particularly when countries have leeching leaders intent on pillaging state coffers during their time in power. The work features Kenya’s former anti-corruption czar John Githongo, who had to run for his life after he attempted to unmask some of the powerful forces behind brazen cases of graft. The story is no different in Uganda, where the anti-corruption institutions have been rendered ineffective owing to manipulation, influence, and control by the elite, as Tangri and Mwenda 2006 discovers.

  • Anassi, Peter. Corruption in Africa: The Kenyan Experience. Victoria, BC: Trafford, 2005.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Examines corruption in various departments within the Kenyan government. It also looks at the consequences of corruption not only for the population but also for government and governance, and democracy. It explores the promises made, particularly by the first government of Mwai Kibaki, to tackle graft, and what the failure to honor those promises meant for Kenya.

    Find this resource:

  • Chweya, Ludeki, John Kithome Tuta, and Symonds Kichamu Akivaga. Control of Corruption in Kenya: Legal Political Dimensions 2001–2004. Nairobi, Kenya: Claripress, 2005.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Looks at corruption, its genesis, consequences, and the struggle against graft in Kenya. It examines how corruption influences electoral and political processes in the country, especially as a result of the growing use of monetary and other rewards in exchange for votes and influence.

    Find this resource:

  • Tangri, Roger, and Andrew Mwenda. “Politics, Donors and the Ineffectiveness of Anti-corruption Institutions in Uganda.” Journal of Modern African Studies 44.1 (2006): 101–124.

    DOI: 10.1017/S0022278X05001436Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This article explains why anti-corruption institutions in Uganda have been ineffective. This is premised on the fact that elite corruption is an essential means of consolidating power, particularly in Uganda, the subject of this study. The article also contends that anti-corruption institutions are often influenced and controlled whenever they threaten to expose graft among the elite.

    Find this resource:

  • Wrong, Michela. It’s Our Turn To Eat: The Story of a Kenyan Whistle-Blower. London: Fourth Estate, 2009.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Details the story of Kenya’s former anti-corruption chief John Githongo’s crusade against corruption. It is particularly based on Githongo’s battle to end grand corruption and especially his battle against senior government officials intent on defrauding the government of billions of shillings through the Anglo Leasing scam.

    Find this resource:

Regionalism

Regionalism is in vogue and is becoming part of a global trend. The relations regional bodies have with others and with states far afield have become subjects of many scholarly works. Pinkney 2001 provides insights into the place of the East African community on the global stage. But we must first understand the problems the East African community has faced over the years. The “original” East African Community, comprising Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda, collapsed in 1977, only to revive in July 2000, which is the subject of Ajulu 2005. Now expanded to include Rwanda and Burundi, the East African Community is still dogged by numerous problems, although it is thus far holding together. But the problems may be brought about by administrative issues, as Oyugi 1994 holds. Salim 1984 provides insights into state formation and how this contributes to the way East Africans view and relate to each other, and whether the way they are organized and run could provide remedies for the Community’s problems. Rothchild 1968 supplements this by focusing on the genesis of the East African Community.

  • Ajulu, Rok, ed. The Making of a Region: The Revival of the East African Community. Johannesburg: Institute for Global Dialogue, 2005.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    A collection of articles examining the revival of the East African Community (EAC), now comprising five countries—Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda. It particularly looks at whether the new EAC can survive given the painful death of the original regional body in 1977.

    Find this resource:

  • Oyugi, Walter, ed. Politics and Administration in East Africa. Nairobi, Kenya: East African Educational Publishers, 1994.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    A collection of articles analyzing the East African states in the postcolonial period. It also looks at the colonial roots and how these inform the organization of the modern East African state. It considers the role of political parties, and the relationship between parties and the state, and the militarization of politics, particularly in Uganda.

    Find this resource:

  • Pinkney, Robert. The International Politics of East Africa. Manchester, UK: Manchester University Press, 2001.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This grounds the politics of East Africa on the world stage and focuses on the period after the end of the Cold War. It particularly looks at how Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda relate to other countries outside what has been called the “original” East African Community.

    Find this resource:

  • Rothchild, Donald, ed. Politics of Integration: An East African Documentary. Nairobi, Kenya: East African Publishing House, 1968.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Examines the East African integration process since the formation of the East African Federation in 1924. Primarily looks at the original East African countries of Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania. A little dated now that the new East African Community embracing Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, and Tanzania is in place.

    Find this resource:

  • Salim, Ahmed Idha. State Formation in Eastern Africa. Nairobi, Kenya: Heinemann, 1984.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Examines issues behind the formation of the state in East Africa in the 18th and 19th centuries. Although this is largely historical, the political history of the region provides an important basis for analysis of state formation.

    Find this resource:

LAST MODIFIED: 11/29/2011

DOI: 10.1093/OBO/9780199756223-0038

back to top

Article

Up

Down