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Fitting China in: local elite collusion and contestation along Kenya's Standard Gauge Railway

Alden, Chris and Otele, Oscar M. (2022) Fitting China in: local elite collusion and contestation along Kenya's Standard Gauge Railway. African Affairs, 121 (484). 443 - 466. ISSN 0001-9909

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Identification Number: 10.1093/afraf/adac026


Scholarship examining African agency towards Chinese development projects typically focuses on negotiations between African national elites and Chinese actors at the inception and policy formulation phase, a period which excludes local elites and public participation more generally. This gap between the policy formulation and policy implementation phases in the project cycle can, however, be exploited by local elites at the periphery of power to serve as a channel of influence over the distribution of foreign-derived patronage. Using opportunities posed by elections, these local elites assert their claims to the spoils of patronage with national elites through strategies like protest, bargaining and co-optation. This article investigates how the implementation phase of the Chinese-funded Standard Gauge Railway presented opportunities for collusion and contestation over foreign economic largesse amongst Kenya's national and local elites, underscoring the multi-Actor aspects of African agency and, concurrently, those structural and temporal factors that enable and shape such agency.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2022 The Author.
Divisions: International Relations
Subjects: J Political Science > JZ International relations
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
Date Deposited: 01 Sep 2022 15:03
Last Modified: 24 May 2024 07:21

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