Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: "Kenya is no doubt a special case" : British policy towards Kenya, 1960-1980
Author: Cullen, Catriona Poppy
ISNI:       0000 0004 5346 4546
Awarding Body: Durham University
Current Institution: Durham University
Date of Award: 2015
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
This thesis examines the ways British policy towards Kenya was made from 1960 to 1980 – from the last years of British colonial rule and through the first two decades of Kenya’s existence as an independent state. Despite the late colonial traumas of Mau Mau, relationships between the British government and the new government of Kenya were very close. British officials actively pursued influence, and a combination of multiple and overlapping interests and a dense network of relationships encouraged British politicians, civil servants and diplomats to place a high value on this relationship, coming to describe it as ‘special’. The thesis examines how ‘policy’ was made, and argues that this emerged from numerous decisions taken by individuals at multiple levels, informed by ‘habits of thought’ as well as a general understanding of British interests which was shared – despite some rivalries and tensions between UK government departments. British attitudes were also shaped by misunderstandings and prejudices. Kenya, by contrast, was emerging as a neo-patrimonial state. This thesis examines how these systems interacted with one another and recognises the clear difference: British officials worked within a bureaucratic system in a way which gave their decisions a coherence and consistency; Kenya’s elite pursued personal and factional interests. Even so, the British reinforced Kenyan neo-patrimonialism by working with individuals rather than through official channels. The thesis argues that, despite the disparity in structure and form, this was a negotiated relationship. Leading Kenyans were often adept at using the British relationship to their particular advantage and were able to influence and shape British decisions in ways which complicate any simple neo-colonial analysis. The relationship remained close because British interests and those of leading Kenyans came to align on crucial issues, ensuring a continued mutual interest in the relationship.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Arts and Humanities Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available