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Contentious Land Narratives and the Nonescalation of Election Violence: Evidence from Kenya’s Coast Region

  • Kathleen Klaus
Abstract:

This article examines the puzzle of the nonescalation of electoral violence. Drawing on evidence from Kenya’s Coast and Rift Valley regions, the article argues that land narratives along the coast create few motives for people to participate in electoral violence because residents do not link their land rights with electoral outcomes. Politicians thus have far less power to use land narratives to organize violence. Two factors help account for this regional variation between the Rift Valley and the Coast: the strength of the political patron and the proportion of “outsiders” relative to “insiders.”

Cet article examine la variation régionale en violence électorale entre la côte et la vallée du Rift régions au Kenya. Il fait valoir que les politiciens ont beaucoup moins de pouvoir le long de la côte pour utiliser les récits du pays qui permet d’organiser la violence parce que les résidents de la région ne rapprochent pas leurs droits fonciers avec les résultats électoraux. Deux autres facteurs également aide à mieux se rendre compte de cette variation régionale: la force des patrons politiques et les populations relatives des “étrangers” face aux “résidents.”

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African Studies Review
  • ISSN: 0002-0206
  • EISSN: 1555-2462
  • URL: /core/journals/african-studies-review
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