The Politics of Belonging and Exclusion: Land Rights, Citizenship and Civil Society in Kenya and Uganda

Researcher: Anders Sjögren, Conflict Cluster

This study is an investigation into the politics of access to land in Kenya and Uganda . It interrogates how different groups in civil society organise around access to land, and how such struggles relate to citizenship rights and state formation. The study is situated in the context of constitutional and land policy reform and persistent ethnic conflicts. The research problem is approached empirically by broad overviews of land policy at the national level, and by historically anchored local studies in both countries of how claims to ownership, use and control over land, based on ethnicity, class and gender interplays with state intervention in creating land regimes – the systems of laws, rules and practices that regulate access to land based resources. The study analyses issues of land conflicts, civil society organising and struggles over citizenship and political identity in a political economy framework. By so doing, it attempts to connect the critical issue of land conflicts to the equally burning questions of citizenship and state formation in Africa . Beyond the empirical cases, it seeks to contribute to theoretical debates on citizenship, by illustrating how ethnicity and nationalism are mediated by class and gender, and how the interrelationship of these identities shapes political institutions.   

Anders Sjögren
Civil Society
East Africa
Land Rights
Land tenure
Lands use
ethnic conflicts
policy reform
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