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Undercurrents of Ethnic Conflict in Kenya (African Social Studies Series) [Paperback]

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Item description for Undercurrents of Ethnic Conflict in Kenya (African Social Studies Series) by John O. Oucho...

An analysis of the ethnic conflict that engulfed Kenya's Rift Valley Province at the turn of the 1990s when multi-party democratic politics were being reintroduced in the country. Its central thesis is that ethnic conflict in the country then was a function of several issues, among them ethnocentrism, politics, the land question and criminal behaviour in certain circles. Both its determinants and consequences are demographic, economic, political and socio-cultural, implying the risks involved in oversimplifying issues.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Brill Academic Publishers
Pages   2229
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.75" Width: 6.25" Height: 9.25"
Weight:   1.05 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Aug 1, 2002
Publisher   Brill Academic Publishers
ISBN  9004124594  
ISBN13  9789004124592  

Availability  0 units.

More About John O. Oucho

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > History > Africa > General
2Books > Subjects > History > Africa > Kenya
3Books > Subjects > History > Asia > General
4Books > Subjects > History > Asia
5Books > Subjects > History > Historical Study > Historiography
6Books > Subjects > History > World > General
7Books > Subjects > History > World
8Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Social Sciences > Anthropology > Cultural
9Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Social Sciences > Sociology > Race Relations > General
10Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Social Sciences > Violence in Society

Reviews - What do customers think about Undercurrents of Ethnic Conflict in Kenya (African Social Studies Series)?

Undercurrents of Ethnic Politics in Kenya  May 1, 2003
How to manage ethnic politics is probably the most challenging political task facing Kenya today. That applies to other countries in Africa too; to Asia (Sri Lanka, Indonesia) and to ex-Communist states as well--witness Bosnia and Chechenya. There is now a considerable literature on the generic nature and process of ethnic conflict that is often appllied by experts to explain group-based political violence in all these situations and the best of it originates from anthropologists working in Africa as far back as the 1940s. Its message is that ethnic identity is a plastic phenomenon; it changes over time depending on the issues at stake. Human action makes and dissolves ethnic tensions and groupings sometimes very fast.

This strange book is written by a Kenyan demographer who either ignores all this or is unaware of it. Oucho says that there has been a change in Kenya's demographic profile due to outmigration of tribes from their ethnic homelands. Colonialism only developed a part of Kenya (the highlands, kikuyuland, and Nairobi, Mombasa) which still attract local immigrants. Overall this has favoured the Kikuyu whose cunning,trickery,lies and hard work (believe it or not Oucho is that blunt) has earned then enormous riches, compared to other Africans. This Kikuyu domination is resented by all other tribes, so Kenya is in big trouble due to Kikuyu greed. This ethnic diatribe, blaming it all on Kikuyu greed and character flow, is the "undercurrents" of ethnic politicis in Kenya. True, some Kikuyus have made illegal fortunes in land transactions since independence but so have others as the crimes of the Moi regime now show.

What a big joke, this book is! Afrikaners ruling apatheid south Africa said so about their Jews. As do Indonesians of the Chinese minority. One logical answer to Oucho's problem would be some kind of final solution to the Kikuyu surely, even if Oucho never mentions that. He favours "positive" as opposed to "negative" conflict but fails to show how to prevent the Kikuyus from hijacking it for their selfish gain as he says they did in the three major parties involved in the 1992 multiparty elections.

In Holland there are still many right wing zealots and Anti-semites who preach as version of this odious theory,
rather than the proper findings of ethnic violence worldwide that we mentioned earlier. Had this book been publsihed in Holland there would have been an uproar. Oucho has his reason for writing it. Brill the publisher based in Leiden ought to be taken to task for publishing such an bizzare book basd on dangerous half-truths.


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