Failing states and ailing leadership in african politics in the era of globalization: Libertarian communitarianism and the kenyan experience

Journal of Global Ethics 4 (2):155 – 169 (2008)
The article discusses the Kenyan post-2007 elections political crisis within the framework of 'libertarian communitarianism' that integrates individualistic self-interest with traditional collectivist solidarity in the era of globalization in Africa. The author argues that behind the Kenyan post-election anarchy can be analyzed as a type of 'prisoner's dilemma' framework in which self-interested rationality is placed in a collectivist social contract setting. In Kenya, this has allowed political manipulation of ethnicity as well as bad governance, both of which have prevented the building of a strong, impartial state. In Kenya, socio-economic disparities and historical injustices due to corruption, nepotism, cronyism and other forms of favoritism have maintained ethnic and other internal tensions, which exploded into open conflict after the disputed December 2007 elections. The author shows how the 'libertarian communitarist' politico-economic context lacks shared values and precludes forward-looking solutions for social justice that promote public good and national unity. Instead, a nation remains divided with its people set up in competitive positions, because there is public trust neither in partisan and self-interested governments nor in inefficient state structures with often (ethnically and/or regionally) biased (re)distribution of resources and unequal service delivery. The greed of the political elites and grievances of the ordinary citizenry maintain distrust across the nation and focus on past injustices rather than finding a shared agenda for future unity. The author suggests that in order to build up public trust, to strengthen the state structures and to gain national unity, it is necessary to focus on shared values and a forward-looking concept of justice, acceptable to all
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1080/17449620802193977
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 23,316
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
J. Rawls (1995). Political Liberalism. Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 57 (3):596-598.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

23 ( #204,725 of 1,926,202 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #453,420 of 1,926,202 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.