This engaging reassessment of postcolonial Kenya argues that the country’s political turmoil over the last fifteen years is a continuation of repeating patterns of political contestation and conflict across Kenya’s history.
When Kibaki stole the 2007 presidential election, leading to a spiral of violence that left over 1,000 people dead in the space of a month, many analysts wondered how this could happen in a country that had previously been considered an oasis of peace in an otherwise conflict prone region. Combining political economy with political sociology, in this book Rok Ajulu demonstrates that in fact authoritarianism and the predatory deployment of the state has been the predominant feature of Kenya’s post-colonial period. Focusing on how power has been mediated in the country politically and the characters of the elites in charge, the analysis shows the dominance of extra-economic political coercion in economic activity. In a context in which economic activity remains predominantly political, continued control of state-power is so crucial for the new ruling class that it must be retained at all costs.
Rok Ajulu’s masterful final book is a powerful and wide-ranging contribution to studies on post-colonial Kenya and will be an important resource for researchers from across political science, economics, history, sociology and African Studies.
Table of Contents
Part I Chapter 1: Introduction Part II Chapter 2: The Origins of the Political Power of the Post-colonial Elite and the Making of the Post-Colony Chapter 3: Independence and the Struggle for the Control of the Post-colonial State: 1963 -1969 Chapter 4: Kenyatta and the Making of an Authoritarian State, 1969 – 1978 Chapter 5: Moi’s Presidency and the Consolidation of Authoritarian Rule Part III Chapter 6: Sunset on the Moi Regime, 1992 -2002 Chapter 7: Kibaki and the Return of the Mount Kenya Crowd Epilogue
Rok Ajulu (1950-2016) was a renowned Kenyan academic and internationalist. A political economist, he obtained his DPhil from Sussex University then taught successively at Leeds University (1990-1994), Rhodes University (1994-2003), the University of the Witwatersrand (2003-2007) and thereafter at the University of South Africa (2008-2010) as a research professor.