Kenya's Political 'Transition' Through the Eyes of Its 'Foot Soldiers' For Democracy and Human Rights (1997-2012)
Political Science, International Development, and International Affairs
Social Science and Global Studies
This is a study of young human rights activists who provide a unique window on Kenya's recent and turbulent political history (1997–2012). The period includes the end of authoritarian rule and election of a ‘reform’ government in 2002 that expanded some human rights but abused others. Based on archival materials and periodic, multiple interviews by the author with key youth activists, the findings make three contributions to the study of human rights and democracy. First, it identifies the often overlooked role of secondary level activists in a human rights/democracy social movement, the so-called ‘foot soldiers’. Second, it explores the failure of Kenya to consolidate its democracy and quell police violence, including the assassination of two human rights investigators, an event which sent a chill through the activist community. Third, by tracing the trajectory of some ‘foot soldiers’ during this period, the study confirms a theory of a cycle of social movement activism but suggests modifications.
Journal of Contemporary African Studies
Press, R. M.
(2012). Kenya's Political 'Transition' Through the Eyes of Its 'Foot Soldiers' For Democracy and Human Rights (1997-2012). Journal of Contemporary African Studies, 30(3), 441-460.
Available at: https://aquila.usm.edu/fac_pubs/20878