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The Mau Mau and the Nation State -Speaking about history in contemporary Kenyan politics

Olsson, Mia (2006)
Department of Political Science
Abstract
This essay examines contemporary political discourses about the Mau Mau insurgence, which took place in Kenya in 1952-1960. During the Mau Mau, the people living in the Central Highlands region, mainly of the Kikuyu ethnic group rebelled against colonial rule. The British came down hard on the Mau Mau, detaining, killing and torturing large portions of the Kikuyu population. There was a divide within the Kikuyu between those loyal to colonial administration and those who fought for independence, which is to some extent still present today.

In Kenya ethnicity is important; I argue that there is no nation state; that Kenya is a state consisting of several nations. If and how political discourses about the Mau Mau are connected to the nation... (More)
This essay examines contemporary political discourses about the Mau Mau insurgence, which took place in Kenya in 1952-1960. During the Mau Mau, the people living in the Central Highlands region, mainly of the Kikuyu ethnic group rebelled against colonial rule. The British came down hard on the Mau Mau, detaining, killing and torturing large portions of the Kikuyu population. There was a divide within the Kikuyu between those loyal to colonial administration and those who fought for independence, which is to some extent still present today.

In Kenya ethnicity is important; I argue that there is no nation state; that Kenya is a state consisting of several nations. If and how political discourses about the Mau Mau are connected to the nation building process is a central theme. Kenya is going though a democratic transition and the silence, which has surrounded the Mau Mau is being broken. Who speaks about the Mau Mau, what their political goals are and how it is discussed are elements of this study.

In order to investigate this I have conducted qualitative interviews with politicians, human rights advocates and Mau Mau war veterans. I have conducted a discourse analysis of the interviews, looked at inconsistancies and compared them to historical discourses. (Less)
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author
Olsson, Mia
supervisor
organization
year
type
L2 - 2nd term paper (old degree order)
subject
keywords
nation state, Mau Mau, ethnic politics, discourse, Multi party democracy, Social sciences, Samhällsvetenskaper, Political and administrative sciences, Statsvetenskap, förvaltningskunskap
language
English
id
1323689
date added to LUP
2007-01-08
date last changed
2007-01-30
@misc{1323689,
  abstract     = {This essay examines contemporary political discourses about the Mau Mau insurgence, which took place in Kenya in 1952-1960. During the Mau Mau, the people living in the Central Highlands region, mainly of the Kikuyu ethnic group rebelled against colonial rule. The British came down hard on the Mau Mau, detaining, killing and torturing large portions of the Kikuyu population. There was a divide within the Kikuyu between those loyal to colonial administration and those who fought for independence, which is to some extent still present today.

In Kenya ethnicity is important; I argue that there is no nation state; that Kenya is a state consisting of several nations. If and how political discourses about the Mau Mau are connected to the nation building process is a central theme. Kenya is going though a democratic transition and the silence, which has surrounded the Mau Mau is being broken. Who speaks about the Mau Mau, what their political goals are and how it is discussed are elements of this study.

In order to investigate this I have conducted qualitative interviews with politicians, human rights advocates and Mau Mau war veterans. I have conducted a discourse analysis of the interviews, looked at inconsistancies and compared them to historical discourses.},
  author       = {Olsson, Mia},
  keyword      = {nation state,Mau Mau,ethnic politics,discourse,Multi party democracy,Social sciences,Samhällsvetenskaper,Political and administrative sciences,Statsvetenskap, förvaltningskunskap},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {The Mau Mau and the Nation State -Speaking about history in contemporary Kenyan politics},
  year         = {2006},
}