Media, Ethnicity, and Electoral Conflicts in Kenya critically examines the interplay between the media, ethnicity, and electoral conflicts in Kenya. Jacinta Mwende Maweu analyzes the place of ethnicity in Kenyan politics and the key drivers of electoral conflicts, as well as how ethnicity influences media framing of these conflicts in the Kenyan context. Maweu argues that, although there are many factors that can affect an electoral process and result in conflict and violence, the role that the mainstream media and new media play is central. As Maweu illustrates through various arguments, politicians in Kenya and other deeply divided societies in Africa have continued to use mainstream and digital media to weaponize ethnicity as they invoke issues of belonging, inclusion, and exclusion. By examining the role of both traditional and digital media in electoral conflicts, Media, Ethnicity, and Electoral Conflicts in Kenya makes a significant contribution to the ongoing academic debate on the role of media in elections and electoral conflicts in Kenya and Africa.
Jacinta Mwende Maweu is senior lecturer in philosophy and media studies at the University of Nairobi, Kenya.
Chapter One: Media and Elections
Chapter Two: The Political Economy of the Media and Elections in Kenya
Chapter Three: A Historical Analysis of Electoral Conflicts in Kenya
Chapter Four: Ethnicity and Electoral Conflicts in Kenya
Chapter Five: The Media, Ethnicity, and Politics in Kenya
Chapter Six: Social Media as Amplifiers of Electoral Conflicts in Kenya
Chapter Seven: Which Way Forward? Building Bridges through the Media to Promote Dialogue, Healing, and Reconciliation
With its debut, Media, Ethnicity, and Electoral Conflicts in Kenya is a timely, significant, and impressive piece of scholarship. Jacinta Maweu has integrated the media system in Kenya within the context of ethnic conflict that has bedeviled the country for many decades. With the breadth and depth of the media's role in electoral conflicts in Kenya, she unveils the media as a key actor in the reproduction of conflict through framing of divisive narratives, co-option by the ruling elite, and media ownership structures that promote ethnic supremacy. At the same time, journalists and civil society groups in Kenya have taken steps to promote healing and reconciliation. This book calls for productive debates among scholars and practitioners as Kenya heads to another election next year: 2022.