Political violence and ethnicity in Kenya
After the Cold War and the transition towards democracy, inter-state conflict became prevalent, especially in Africa. Kenya has experienced ethnic political violence around election periods. The study explored the nuanced relationship between ethnicity and political violence. The study examined secondary data on ethnicity, politics, democratic transition and political violence to understand the nature of recurrent political violence in Kenya. The study found that in periods of political competition such as elections, political elites mobilize Kenyans along ethnic lines, which are perceived to be established voter blocs to ensure a victory to the highest office. The deliberate use of ethnicity is in line with the instrumentalist theory. The study concluded that because ethnic mobilization can be deemed a logical calculation to ensure a win by a Kenyan presidential candidate, it is not a situation that would be easy to change. However, political stability can be achieved by developing cross-cutting loyalties such as associations with integrative mature political parties, the promotion of national identity and addressing the structural problems such as inequity and disparate access to opportunity.