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Adrienne LeBas awarded grant from the John Fell OUP Research Fund Small Awards Scheme

Dr Adrienne LeBas has received a grant from the John Fell OUP Research Fund Small Awards Scheme for her project ‘Electoral Competition and the Organization of Violence in Kenya`. The project is due to start on 1 September 08.

This project examines the causes and consequences of political violence in a single case, Kenya, in hopes of shedding light on general questions of party development and electoral competition in democratizing countries. LeBas argues that electoral violence in Kenya has not been due to the spontaneous explosion of grievances or ethnic animosity, as, for instance, the media coverage of the January 2008 post-election violence would suggest. Instead, political violence in Kenya and a handful of other African countries has become a stable and self-reinforcing feature of electoral competition. Violence is one of several tools used by actors at the local level, including party candidates for office, to serve individual political and material goals.

The Fell Fund award will support fieldwork in Kenya during 2008-2009, during which LeBas will expand her past work on party campaigns in urban slums to selected rural constituencies. The research will also include the administration of a pilot survey in a small number of paired constituencies. The survey will examine the links between perceptions of violence, personal experience, and voter attitudes. The research is intended to serve as the base for a larger comparative project on party competition and electoral violence.

A more detailed description of the project will be available soon.

Dr Adrienne LeBas is a Post-Doctoral Prize Research Fellow at Nuffield College.