Politics in East Africa

Politics in East Africa
Politics in East Africa

Elections in « hybrid » regimes

Elections have been at the heart of the research conducted at IFRA since its creation by political scientists in the 1970s. Elections are ideal moments to scrutinize social and political transformations (imagination of citizenship, of leadership, aspirations, claims, political apparatus), but they are also research objects per se. What does voting mean in the context of dominant parties ( Uganda, Tanzania) , or in the context of  the permanent struggle of access to resources ( Kenya) ? What are the singularities of such elections ( violence, modern technologies) ?

Ivoting-exhibitionn 2015, two books were published by IFRA on recent elections : one on Uganda, on Kenya, following a series of books published by IFRA on elections.

A research project coordinated by Alexander Makulilo and Marie-Aude Fouéré looked into the general elections in Tanzania (October 2015). A publication based on this research will be made in 2016.

An exposition (Voting matters), an international conference and a roundtable were held in October and November 2015, interrogating the materiality of voting and the imaginations of citizenship in Eastern Africa. These events were held together with the National Museums of Kenya, the British Institute of Research in Africa, and with the support of the Institut français.

Security and insecurities

Social, physical and political insecurities are experienced daily by the urban population in East Africa. IFRA is pursuing and encouraging research on different aspects of insecurities : the daily practices of security are adressed in a regular seminars (lien) held with CHRIPS (lien). Following works done on militias and community policing, this research on violence looks into their social, political and economic dimensions. They have also been focusing, on violence and religion, especially on the Coastal and the North Eastern regions. A forum (programme) and a roundtable have been held on October 28 & 29th 2015, with Heinrich Boll Foundation and CHIRPS, gathering researchers from Nigeria, Cameroon and Kenya, as well as professionals of security.

A geopolitical approach to security matters was pursued from 2012 to 2014 through the Observatory of the Great Lakes for which more than 40 notes were produced and can be found here.

Mobilizations and policies in the making

Land, social, economic policies are researched through the lenses of a sociology of public action. The context of constant reforms, the involvment of external and social actors and, in Kenya, the context of devolution provide a complex but challenging environment to understand policy making in Eastern Africa.

In 2016, a conference on Land reform policies will discuss the ordinary process of policy reforms and the involvement of social and international actors in it.