My research focuses on the Republic of Kenya in East Africa, and investigates the political and social situation in the period from the British colonial rule at the beginning of the 20th century to the present day.
My research on Kenya began in 1987. Then, after joining the Institute of Developing Economies, I moved to Kenya from 1994 to 1996 and researched the role of ethnicity in national elections at the University of Nairobi Institute of Development Studies. Since then, I have conducted short-term studies in Kenya, focusing on elections, democratization, ethnicity, conflict and reconciliation, nation building, issues surrounding constitutional amendment, Islam and politics, and land ownership systems, all with the aim of deepening my understanding of the issues facing the country.
Current research projects
I am working on issues concerning constitutional reform in Kenya.
Kenya underwent a period of democratization after the restoration of its multiparty system in 1991. At the same time, ethnic mobilization during national elections increasingly led to social conflicts. In 2007 and 2008 in particular, a major domestic conflict erupted over the outcome of the presidential election. One of the central issues concerning post-conflict political reform in Kenya has been constitutional reform, which has also been addressed in terms of building a political coalition to win the presidential election.
My short-term research aim is to reexamine the history of Kenya’s constitutional amendments in relation to actual political activities. I also note the political significance of the constitutional reform process, which failed prematurely.