Call for proposals: Portraying Devolution in Kenya: Leaders, Policies, Identities


poster @ Valérie Alfaurt




June 12 & 13 2018, Nairobi

Call for proposals:

Panel discussion will be shaped later on by these topics.
Those interested in contributing should send 200 to 300 words abstract to Chloe Josse-Durand, Deputy Director of IFRA, by 1st of March 2018.

IFRA will help in funding the flight tickets, transports and accommodation in Nairobi.

Contact :

More informations and bibliography here.

Conference rationale

A few reports and papers have been written on devolution since 2013.
These preliminary publications testify to the desire to build a broader knowledge of devolution, capable of offering rich insights to its concrete implementation and consequences on the ground. What will be at stake is questioning, with an empirical dimension, the administrative reformulation of the interface and the relationship between the State, its political elites and its citizens. Many questions need to be addressed: to what extent devolution is the cornerstone of local development, resources sharing and power redistribution? How is local development taking place on the ground?

What are the new gains and losses within this new system? Has corruption been devolved? Are the local elites elected in the new devolved positions really “new”? Does devolution change or reinforces the traditional clientelist networking? To what extent does it affect the shaping of ethnic identity on the grassroots, the making of (land, social, economic, political) claims on the ground? How does it transform the political imaginaries and the relationship of the citizens to their local elite and to the State?

This conference aims to go beyond this concrete presentation of who & what makes devolution in Kenya, to address deeper societal and academic issues and to engage with a debate on the models of devolution and the political and social impacts of devolved systems of governance. The political and historical background of devolution, the impact of devolution on corruption and patronage networks goes beyond Kenya since it engages with a broader analysis of the relationship between citizens, local elites and the State. Therefore, multi-site surveys or comparative approaches anchored in devolved systems of government in Kenya, (East-)Africa and/or Western countries are very welcomed.


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