The Struggle for a New Constitutional Order

Edited by Godwin R. Murunga, Duncan Okello, and Anders Sjogren


An important interrogation of the 2010 Kenyan constitution and its implications for the country's deep-seated problems of state and society.
The aftermath of recent Kenyan elections has been marred by violence and an apparent crisis in democratic governance, with the negotiated settlement resulting from the 2007 election bringing into sharp focus longstanding problems of state and society. The broader reform process has involved electoral, judicial and security-sector reforms, among others, which in turn revolve around constitutional reforms.

Written by a gathering of eminent specialists, this highly original volume interrogates the roots and impact of the 2010 constitution. It explains why reforms were blocked in the past but were successful this time around, and explores the scope for their implementation in the face of continued resistance by powerful groups. In doing so, the book demonstrates that the Kenyan experience carries significance well past its borders, speaking to debates surrounding social justice and national cohesion across the African continent and beyond.

Author Bio

Godwin R. Murunga is a senior research fellow in the Institute of Development Studies, University of Nairobi, and director of the African Leadership Centre. He is also a visiting professor in the Global Institutes at King’s College London.

Duncan Okello is currently the Chief of Staff in the Office of the Chief Justice, Republic of Kenya. He previously worked as director of programmes at the Institute of Economic Affairs in Kenya, and as the regional director for Eastern Africa for the Society for International Development.

Anders Sjögren is a senior researcher with the Nordic Africa Institute in Uppsala. Working in the field of the comparative political economy of development and state-society relations in Africa, his current research is on land conflicts, state formation and citizenship in Kenya and Uganda.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction: Towards a New Constitutional Order in Kenya - Godwin R. Murunga, Duncan Okello and Anders Sjögren
  • Part I: Contexts and Actors in the Making of a New Constitution
    • 1. The Protracted Transitions to the Second Republic in Kenya - Paul Tiyambe Zeleza
    • 2. Fuelling the Violence: The Print Media in Kenya's Volatile 2007 Post-Election Violence - Sammy Gakero Gachigua
    • 3. Mediating Kenya's Post-Election Violence: From a Peace-Making to a Constitutional Moment - E. Njoki Wamai
    • 4. Instrumentalism and Constitution-Making in Kenya: Triumphs, Challenges and Opportunities Beyond the 2013 Elections - Raymond Muhula and Stephen Ndegwa
    • 5. Revisiting 'The Two Faces of Civil Society' in Constitutional Reform in Kenya - Wanjala S. Nasong'o
  • Part II: The Content, Challenges and Opportunities of a New Constitutional Order
    • 6. Constitutions and Constitutionalism: The Fate of the 2010 Constitution - Yash Pal Ghai
    • 7. Elite Compromises and the Content of the 2010 Constitution - Godwin R. Murunga
    • 8. Security and Human Rights in the New Constitutional Order in Kenya - Mutuma Ruteere


'The Struggle for a New Constitutional Order is not simply a chronicle of a bitter history, it is more tellingly a forecast of considerably more political drama to come.'
Joe Oloka-Onyango, Makerere University

'With helpful chapters on elite politics, the security situation, and the process of constitution making, this is essential reading for anyone who seeks a complete understanding of the "Kenya crisis" and what followed.'
Nic Cheeseman, African Studies Centre, University of Oxford

'Murunga, Okello and Sjögren - all with intimate knowledge of Kenya's struggle for democracy - have edited an epic work of the intellect. Some of the authors, like Yash Ghai, are synonymous with the making of Kenya's constitution.'
Makau Mutua, State University of New York, Buffalo

'A timely contribution to academic debates, as well as a call to action for all those interested in protecting Kenya's recent constitutional gains and promoting constitutionalism.'
Gabrielle Lynch, University of Warwick


Publication Date: 11 December 2014
208 pages

Product ISBNs: Paperback: 9781780323657
Hardback: 9781780323664
eBook ePub: 9781780323688
eBook PDF: 9781780323671
eBook Kindle: 9781780323695

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