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Periodical article Periodical article
Title:Globalizing Ethnicity, Localizing Citizenship: Globalization, identity politics and violence in Kenya's Tana River region
Author:Kagwanja, P.M.
Periodical:Africa Development
Geographic term:Kenya
Discipline:Political Science & Government
Violence - political
Tana River
Abstract:This paper is about the ways in which forces of globalization have impacted on, and shaped the construction of, citizenship in Africa generally and Kenya in particular. It is also about globalization and violence associated with the resur- gence of ethnic nationalism. The empirical part of the paper focuses on Tana River region, a marginalized, poor and bandit-prone multi-ethnic region on the delta of Kenya's largest river. The region's proximity to Somalia, where the state has collapsed and warlords hold sway, has also exposed the region to the effects of cross-border flows of firearms, 'mercenaries' and bandits. Moreover, the World Bank has funded several projects in Tana River, but its funding, man- agement policies and the overall impact of the investments have accentuated ethnic conflict within and between herders and farmers over water-points, pas- ture and farmlands. These conflicts have engendered the reconstruction of new ethnic identities and alliances, and the selective use of historical memories and cultural institutions to buttress exclusive claims to territorial citizenship. These localized processes are linked to ethnic contests at the civic realm by intense politicization of citizenship as a logical consequence of liberal majoritarian de- mocracy in ethnically divided polities. The paper maps the contours of the his- torical process through which globalization has undermined social citizenship and the nationalist project in post-colonial Africa, thus everywhere animating ethnicity and localizing citizenship. (Journal Abstract).