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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:A City under Siege: Banditry and Modes of Accumulation in Nairobi, 1991-2004
Author:Katumanga, Musambayi
Periodical:Review of African Political Economy
Geographic term:Kenya
political economy
urban society
Urbanization and Migration
Law, Human Rights and Violence
Politics and Government
Economics and Trade
History and Exploration
External links:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/03056240500466981
Abstract:This is a study of the impact of forced political and economic liberalization on modes of socioeconomic engagement and accumulation in Kenya's capital city, Nairobi, subsequent to the introduction of multiparty 'democracy' in 1992. It focuses on the political economy underlying the urban banditry in Nairobi which was the result of forced liberalization. It demonstrates how a besieged regime facilitates the criminalization of urban existence in a bid to ensure its survival. The argument is that beleaguered regimes survive through a twin strategy. They privatize public violence and appropriate private violence. The net effect is the perversion of social order and the emergence of bandit economies. Regime longevity may derive not only from lack of an alternative leadership and organizing ideology, but also from the threat to perceived benefits accruing from such informal economies. The ruling elite responds to the possibility of losing power by using neopatrimonial structures to selectively allocate public spaces to their cronies, thereby subverting social order and undermining democratization, security and social harmony; this in turn spawns urban banditry. Urban banditry here denotes the unregulated deployment of instruments of coercion by ruling elite and various elements within the citizenry in bids to facilitate acquisition of economic benefits and political leverage. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract, edited]