Fighting for Justice (and Survival): Kenyan Civil Society Accountability Strategies and Their Enemies

Posted: 4 Nov 2015

See all articles by Thomas Obel Hansen

Thomas Obel Hansen

Ulster University - Transitional Justice Institute

Chandra Lekha Sriram

University of London - School of Law

Date Written: June 3, 2015

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Hansen, Thomas Obel and Sriram, Chandra Lekha, Fighting for Justice (and Survival): Kenyan Civil Society Accountability Strategies and Their Enemies (June 3, 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2685899

Thomas Obel Hansen (Contact Author)

Ulster University - Transitional Justice Institute ( email )

Shore Road
Newtownabbey, County Antrim BT37 OQB
Northern Ireland

Chandra Lekha Sriram

University of London - School of Law ( email )

Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square
London, WC1H 0XG
United Kingdom

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