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Emergence of inter-identity alliances in struggles for transformation of the Kenyan constitution

Mati, Jacob Mwathi (2017) Emergence of inter-identity alliances in struggles for transformation of the Kenyan constitution. Cosmopolitan Civil Societies: an Interdisciplinary Journal, 9 (1). pp. 77-97. ISSN 1837-5391

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    Abstract

    Struggles for transformation of the Kenyan constitution brought into alliances disparate movements from below, sections of middleclass, and factions of political, economic and religious elites, in challenging the government. The emergence of these alliances presents useful cases for examining the dynamic relationship and politics between these movements, and also for probing social movement theory. Specifically, given the centrality of identity consciousness in movements, how were intrinsic class, religious, gender, generational and ethnic identity interests, contestations and cleavages overcome to enable inter-identity alliances in these struggles? More critically, how relevant are the dominant social movement theories in explaining this phenomenon? Is theoretical straightjacketing useful for analysing movements with such diversity? Drawing from in-depth interviews and existing literature on Kenyan constitutional reform struggles, this paper illustrates how alliances between the different identities and movements were forged to allow for a common struggle. The paper further illustrates that while political opportunity structures explain certain aspects of this phenomenon, framing, civic education and community organising strategies were critical enablers for collective identity formation.

    Item Type: Journal Article
    Uncontrolled Keywords: Constitution reform struggles; inter-class alliance; inter-identity alliance; Political opportunity; framing; Civic Education; Community Organising; Collective identity; Kenya
    Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
    H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
    H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
    Divisions: Faculty of Arts, Law and Education (FALE) > School of Social Sciences
    Depositing User: Jacob Mati
    Date Deposited: 05 Apr 2017 10:58
    Last Modified: 05 Apr 2017 10:58
    URI: http://repository.usp.ac.fj/id/eprint/9727
    UNSPECIFIED

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