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Constraining Political Transformation-The Two Faces of Activist Religious Organizations in the Search for a New Constitution in Kenya

Mati, Jacob Mwathi (2015) Constraining Political Transformation-The Two Faces of Activist Religious Organizations in the Search for a New Constitution in Kenya. Journal of Civil Society, 11 (4). pp. 348-365. ISSN 1744-8689

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Abstract

Religious organizations are key structural components of Kenyan civil society that have played or continue to play a critical role in socio-political developments. In the last two and half decades especially, religious institutions have been among the principal actors shaping the mechanics and trajectories of Kenya’s political order. But religious organizations’ political behaviour, especially in the country’s search for a new constitution, was contentious and remarkably inconsistent. There were moments of progressive actions but also behaviour that imperilled progress. This article probes this ambivalence of Kenyan faith groups in the struggles for a new constitution. It is argued that their political behavioural inconsistencies largely reflect an ethnic, class and, to a lesser extent, instrumentalized doctrinal or denominational schism that is ever present in the wider Kenyan society. By analysing how religious leaders and their organizations challenged political elite domination while remaining amenable to its influence, this article illustrates the contradictions of elite pacts in these struggles and how they constrained progressive transformation.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: Copyright © 2015 Routledge
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Divisions: Faculty of Arts, Law and Education (FALE) > School of Social Sciences
Depositing User: Jacob Mati
Date Deposited: 03 Mar 2016 00:03
Last Modified: 27 Apr 2016 23:46
URI: http://repository.usp.ac.fj/id/eprint/8616
UNSPECIFIED

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