The transition process in Kenya appears to be getting nowhere. Six years after the opening of democratic space, politics, political institutions, and governance remain predominantly stuck in the authoritarian quagmire of the past. Lack of broader participation in decision-making processes and absence of consensus around important issues of governance appear to be the norm rather than the exception. Indeed, Kenya's democracy experiment appears to defy conventional democratization models and discourse. It refuses to comply with prescriptive models developed by various Western scholars as the so-called liberal democratic values stubbornly refuse to take root in the country. This article attempts to explain why this is the case in Kenya. It is part of a broader study that focuses on the political economy of democratization in Kenya. The central thrust of the argument here is that in order to understand the crisis of democratization in Kenya, there is a need to focus on the political economy of accumulation, particularly on how it has been mediated politically over the post-colonial period.



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