Since independence, the Kenyan state claims to have pursued the principle of equal rights as an important part of its nation-building project. At the same time, Kenya’s population is differentiated economically and politically along ethnic lines with state resources benefiting mainly those communities close to the ruling elite. At the beginning of the 21st century, important political events took place that seemed to address these inequalities. Focusing on a ten-year period from 2000–2010, this thesis examines the nature of Kenyan state–society relations through the prisms of two social policies: free primary education and HIV/AIDS prevention and care. The thesis asks: what roles have the enactment of social policies and aid within decision-making arenas played in the configuration of the contemporary Kenyan state?; and how have ethnicities and local redistribution of resources shaped negotiations within the implementation arenas?

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J.B. Björkman
Erasmus University Rotterdam
ISS PhD Theses
International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University (ISS)

Cifuentes Montoya, M. (2012, August 17). Negotiating Social Policies in Kenya: Aid, Ethnicity and Resource Struggles
. ISS PhD Theses. Retrieved from