Fighting for Justice (and Survival): Kenyan Civil Society Accountability Strategies and Their Enemies
Posted: 4 Nov 2015
Date Written: June 3, 2015
Drawing on interviews with civil society actors and international donors, this article examines the role of Kenyan civil society in advancing accountability for serious inter- national crimes, specifically the 2007-2008 post-election violence. We consider civil society as recipient and transmitter of norms of accountability and as transformer and user of such norms, as well as civil society strategies for engaging with actors domestically and internationally. Exploring how civil society has devised advocacy strategies relating to the International Criminal Court and domestic justice mechanisms, we challenge some of the assumptions in the literature on civil society and accountability. In particular, we question whether civil society can predominantly rely on international standards as part of a ‘justice cascade,’ arguing that the Kenyan case illustrates a more complex situation where narratives of justice and accountability continuously change and may be undermined as a consequence of counter-narratives devised by those opposed to criminal justice.
Keywords: Kenya, civil society, accountability, International Criminal Court
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