Political Violence in Kenya A Study of Causes, Responses, and a Framework for Discussing Preventive Action

"This paper focuses on political violence in Kenya. The rationale of the paper is to understand how such violence can best be prevented. To do this, we must first understand the history of political violence in Kenya and what factors in society contribute to a tendency of utilising violence as a means of obtaining political influence. In its discussions, the paper draws on transitional justice discourses. The paper is structured as follows: Firstly, a definition of political violence is provided for. Secondly, the paper analyses how political violence has historically played out in Kenya. Thirdly, the paper identifies a variety of causes of political violence in Kenya. Fourthly, the paper turns to an appraisal of which responses can be deployed to prevent the recurrence (or persistence) of political violence. It does so by discussing initiatives that have already been implemented or which may be due to implementation. The paper thus presents an account of political violence in Kenya and the responses undertaken, while at the same time engaging more theoretically with the question of how to prevent political violence."