The role of Civil society in post-conflict peacebuilding and reconstruction: the case of Kenya Post 2007 elections
Owuor, Felix O
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The political landscape in Kenya has undergone a dramatic transformation since independence. Much of post-independent Kenya has been riddled by a struggle for economic growth social development and political transition. Attempts to develop, sustain and consolidate democratic governance have often been accompanied by ethnic manipulations, patron-client relationships and violence, hence the resurgence of ethnic conflicts and massive violence after the 2007 Presidential elections. The aftermath of the post-election violence in 2007 created a situation that required post conflict peacebuilding and reconstruction initiatives in order to bring the country back on the road to recovery and peace', This research analyses the role of civil society in peacebuilding in Kenya. Examining the literature on civil society and its various roles, the study is based on the conceptual framework of Lederach (1997) who presents the peacebuilding pyramid as a model for underscoring that sustainable peacebuilding cannot be left to the warring parties alone, but that civil society is pivotal to peace processes. Using both primary and secondary means of data collection, the study is of a qualitative orientation, which employs a single case study in order to understand the topic in detail. The overall study aim is to understand the role and place of civil society in peacebuilding during the various stages of conflict from its em ergence, escalation to de-escalation. The study ends with a series of recommendations on enhancing the efforts of civil society in peacebuilding.