Terrorism as conflict in transition: a critical analysis of Counter Violent Extremism strategies in Kenya
Gichira, Stephen Gachoki
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This thesis is informed by post 9/11 global security environment. It examines how Kenya has responded to terrorism threat from Al-Shabaab and the basis of its strategies. The study aimed at a critical analysis of Counter Violent Extremism (CVE) strategies in Kenya. The specific objectives were to discuss the philosophy of Global War on Terror, investigate terrorism as a conflict in transition, examine CVE in War on Terror, and explore responses to terrorism in Kenya. To achieve this objective, the study posed research question on basis of CVE strategies in Kenya, and whether they can succeed if mediated by use of force. The study reflects on a framework of analysis which framed Global War on Terror as the independent variable influencing national security strategies by states. Accordingly, the central assumption of the study is that contemporary national security strategies by states are informed by global WoT framework. Methodologically, the study collected primary and secondary data. Primary data was collected through personal interviews from respondents in the field of Counter Terrorism and CVE. Secondary data was collected through documentary analysis of literature on CVE in Kenya. Data collected was analyzed through narrative and content analysis. Analysis and interpretation of data collected established that CVE strategies in Kenya are facing challenges which are related to how they are captured from the premise of the global War on Terror framework. The study recommends that the philosophy of War on Terror in framing CVE strategies, is not applicable locally. It is shrouded with narratives that perceive the problem as an external rather than internal problem. CVE strategies in Kenya need to be homegrown, flexible and customized to local contexts to capture the transitional character of terrorism conflict with greater impact.