Social movements and democratic transitions in Kenya

Philip O. Nyinguro, Eric E. Otenyo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


An influential conventional wisdom holds that democratic movements respond to windows of opportunity engendered by both domestic and international environments. We show that all democratic transitions in Kenya since independence are conditioned by and are a function of the expansion and contraction of the window of opportunity. We argue that the opportunity window structure is elastic to the extent that gains and losses of democracy movements between 1963 and 2005 depended on elite responses to the opportunity pendulum. We find that the expansion of the window of opportunity for the democracy movement often meant a corresponding contraction of the same for all the emergent regimes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5-24
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Asian and African Studies
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2007


  • Democratic movements
  • Governance
  • Kenya
  • Multiparty
  • Opportunity structure
  • Transitions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development


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