International Development, Community, and Environment

Title

Class, Ethnicity, and the Kenyan State: Community Mobilization in the Context of Global Politics

Document Type

Article

Abstract

Perhaps there is no region where questions concerning the potential for community mobilization are more urgent than Sub-Saharan Africa. Some observers have suggested that the marginalization of Sub-Saharan Africa in the 1980s has been relentless and that Africa's real hope may lie with the mobilization of rural communities in grass-roots efforts. Given Africa's position as the world's poorest continent; given evidence that its linkages with the rest of the world in terms of trade, aid and investment are increasingly problematic; and given evidence of widespread decay of infrastructure, opportunities and need for community mobilization are apparent. Understanding that potential and how to achieve it is critical in Africa today. Ethnicity remains the most compelling basis for community mobilization, as well as the energizing force, which the state fears the most, given its own dependence on problematic, multi-ethnic coalitions while flying to build a strong, multi-ethnic nation. Today, in Kenya, the paradigm relevant to an analysis of community mobilization is beginning to shift.

Publication Title

International Journal of Politics, Culture and Society

Publication Date

3-1-1991

Volume

4

Issue

3

First Page

301

Last Page

321

ISSN

0891-4486

DOI

10.1007/BF01386506

Keywords

multiculturalism, ethnicity, ethnic groups, social classes, Kenyan economy, Kenya, Africa

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