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date: 02 June 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The Kenya Debate concerned whether authentic capitalist development would take place on the periphery of the global economy. Capitalism has deepened, but prior internal developments, extreme inequality by social class, a profoundly changing international order at the time of the debate, and the subsequent predatory political behavior of the political class have set Kenya’s economy on a very problematic path. This chapter discusses core features of that path, including incentives for the political class to use ethnicity to divide citizens and construct political bases that, in turn, has resulted in a flawed democracy, chronic corruption, a fragile state, continuing and perhaps growing inequality, frequent electoral violence, and enduring poverty. The chapter traces how circumstances have changed in ways the debaters could scarcely have imagined, particularly with the 2010 Constitution, whose ultimate corrective influence on the behavior of the political class remains to be seen.

Keywords: capitalism, predation, flawed democracy, land reform, corruption, neoliberalism, inequality

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