From Possibility to Postcolony: The Politics of Decolonization, Development, and Inequality in Kenya (c. 1950-1980) Open Access

Moskowitz, Kara Alexandra (2014)

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"From Possibility to Postcolony: The Politics of Decolonization, Development, and Inequality in Kenya (c. 1950-1980)" explores how - in the decades after independence - local access to national and international development resources shaped political authority and government obligation, and led to the creation of new forms of inequality. In postcolonial Kenya, development resources became available through complicated negotiations among a diverse set of actors and in a setting increasingly shaped by transnational development institutions. Using archival materials and oral histories, the project foregrounds the lives and political imaginations of rural people. The dissertation uses a series of local case studies from the Rift Valley district of Uasin Gishu to examine the interconnections between development and decolonization. These case studies show that rural residents of Uasin Gishu formed new political relationships with state, non-state, and transnational actors to negotiate the form and distribution of development programs. In doing so, these rural actors also participated in the creation of new patron-client relationships and in the negotiation of fundamental questions about the political and economic order of postcolonial Kenya. Experimentations in the practice of governance were very often carried out in rural spaces in the language of land and development, and through these trials, new political institutions and political subjects came into being. Simultaneously, new forms of exclusion and inequality emerged. The thesis balances a focus on the emergence of new political practices with an emphasis on the - at times, dire, and without exception, unequal - realities of agrarian life just after independence in Kenya.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction 1

2. ‘The Eye to the Government and the Ears of the Public': Making Local Governments and Political Imaginations 32

3. ‘Can I Be One of Them?': The Varied Landscape of Settlement in Kenya 87

4. Cooperation or Corruption?: A Decolonization Tale 149

5. Failure to Feed the Nation: The Politics of Maize and Agricultural Marketing 201

6. A Labor of Love?: Self-Help and the Contradictions of Postcolonial Governance 242

7. ‘The Land Was Ours, But It Was Not Mine': Exclusion, Political Imagination, and Women's Mobilization 297

8. ‘Are You Planting Trees or Are You Planting People?': Defining Kenya's National Interest (Part I of II) 347

9. ‘Are You Planting Trees or Are You Planting People?': Squatter Resistance, International Development, and Postcolonial State-Making (Part II) 387

10. Conclusion 428

Glossary 435

Bibliography 437

Map 1.1 Kenya 7

Map 1.2 Provinces of Kenya 21

Map 2.1 Uasin Gishu District 55

Map 3.1 Uasin Gishu-Kakamega Border 100

Table 6.1 Harambee Contributions by Province 290

Table 6.2 Per Capita Harambee Contributions 291

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