An Experiment in Devolution: National Unity and the Deconstruction of the Kenyan State
In 2010, the Kenyan people promulgated a new constitution, containing within it one of the most ambitious experiments in devolution the world has ever seen. The proposition, of governance decentralised, challenges at a fundamental level the assumption that progress in African governance comes through centralised, bureaucratised statehood. The book tries out analysis of the degree to which politics includes and unites in evaluating Kenya’s shift to 47 county governments. The point of the book is not merely to proclaim Kenya’s devolution experiment as a success-story but to offer fieldwork and survey evidence on the need to shift our paradigm from assessment of “state strength”, to assessment of political unity when we do political science. We need to suspend our assessments of institutional strengthening through constitutional change and first question what we even mean by strength. To do this, Dominic Burbidge delves into the new political space afforded by Kenya’s devolution reforms, arguing that they force us to change our very basis to evaluating political progress in Africa.
Date: 29 May 2019, 17:00 (Wednesday, 5th week, Trinity 2019)
Venue: St Antony's College, 62 Woodstock Road OX2 6JF
Venue Details: Ghassan Shaker room
Speakers: Dominic Burbidge (University of Oxford), Hannah Waddilove (Warwick)
Organising department: Centre for African Studies
Organiser: Jason Mosley (University of Oxford)
Part of: Northeast Africa Forum seminar series
Booking required?: Not required
Audience: Public
Editor: Jason Mosley