Publication Date

5-2009

Degree Name

MA in Social Justice in Intercultural Relations

First Advisor

Preeti Shroff-Mehta

Abstract

Pastoralist communities in Kenya have suffered burdens of the legacy of both colonial and post independence legal system alienation, and marginalization. The perceptions that these communities are independent, belligerent and antidevelopment have consistently continued to be political sentiments held by the political elite to justify marginalization. The current constitution of Kenya continues to retain some of the discriminatory provisions like the Trust Land Act. The land in Turkana is still owned by the government of Kenya, held in trust by the local authorities. Given the economic lifestyle which is based on livestock (not recognized by the state as viable economic opportunity), alternative livelihoods system is dismal. There is no real government of Kenya political solution (the only viable option now) to alleviate the suffering of such communities to tackle the endemic and virulent poverty. This calls for an alternative citizen direct action engagement with the government through non-violent ways. Building Non-Violent Social Justice movement through innovation in community justice systems is both a process and strategy of attaining political consciousness among pastoralists. As a process, it seeks to create knowledge around historical injustices deep rooted in the formal legal system and redefining coherent social identity of marginalized groups. As a strategy, it is a tool of social mobilization and building social capital that will be conducive for creating political consciousness and conscious social change at different levels of the society. When pastoralists use their traditional institutional arrangements as interaction point with formal system, there is better understanding of how the systems functions. This awareness will allow pastoralists communities to channel growing discontent and anger into something positive, creative, non-violent and inclusive and to renew the passion for change and put an end to injustice.

Disciplines

Inequality and Stratification | Politics and Social Change

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