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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The Politics of Control in Kenya: Understanding the Bureaucratic-Executive State, 1951-78
Authors:Branch, DanielISNI
Cheeseman, NicISNI
Periodical:Review of African Political Economy
Geographic term:Kenya
Subjects:State formation
regional government
History and Exploration
Politics and Government
External links:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/03056240600671183
Abstract:Kenya's bureaucratic-executive State emerged as the result of a process of institution building and class formation during the colonial era. These twin processes placed an elite of wealthy 'conservatives' in control of an extensive system of administration and a powerful executive. The resulting 'pact-of-domination' between transnational capital, the Kenyan elite, the provincial administration and the executive was able to maintain its privileged position by protecting and extending the authority of the president and the capacity of the administration. Although clearly an example of the set of African 'bureaucratic-centralized' States identified by C. Allen (1992), the bureaucratic-executive State demands to be seen as a distinctive State formation located within that spectrum. What renders Kenya's bureaucratic-executive State distinctive is not so much the 'charismatic' authority of the executive, but the capacity of the regime to monitor and influence political developments through the provincial administration. The provincial administration acted as a conduit for executive power, with the consequence that political space was, at times, as tightly regulated in the 'periphery' as it was in the 'centre'. It is this that separates Kenya from Zambia, Tanzania and many of the other 'weak' and 'soft' African States. The role of the provincial administration is fundamental to an understanding of the longevity of the bureaucratic-executive State. Bibliogr., sum. [ASC Leiden abstract]