Lesson: Understanding Kenyan Politics - Spring 2013

On March 4 of 2013, general elections were held in Kenya, the first held under the new constitution approved by a national referendum in 2010. This lesson considers the dynamics of political coalitions and oppostion parties in Kenya.

Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Gain familiarity with major trends in Kenyan political life.


  2. Identify key participants and issues impacting contemporary Kenyan politics.
  3. Become familiar with key sources for learning about Kenyan politics

Before Class

Read the following articles and browse the Daily Nation website

  1. Mueller, Susanne D. 2008. "The Political Economy of Kenya's Crisis." Journal of Eastern African Studies 2 (2): 185-210.
  2. Branch, Daniel, and Nic Cheeseman. 2009. "Democratization, Sequencing, and State Failure in Africa: Lessons from Kenya." African Affairs 108 (430): 1-26.
  3. de Smedt, Johan. 2009. "'No Raila, No Peace!' Big Man Politics and Election Violence at the Kibera Grassroots." African Affairs 108 (433): 581-98.
  4. The Daily Nation elections page: http://elections.nation.co.ke/

During Class

Work through this powerpoint presentation.