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Chapter 5 examines how interactions between global and local systems of meaning within the neoliberal political economy shape sex workers’ dreams and plans for the future. This is done by examining the notion of a ‘good life’ that prevails in sex worker narratives. The first part of the chapter considers what such a ‘good life’ consists of and how an understanding of the ‘good life’ differs according to how successful a sex worker is in her trade. The second and the third parts of the chapter analyse what strategies and plans women have to reach their aims. The second part concentrates on women’s ideas about attaining the ‘good life’ through marriage; the third focuses on how a ‘good life’ can be secured through business and work. The final part of this chapter discusses what differences sex workers show in their dreams for themselves and their children, and what might be the reasons behind these. The argument put forward points to the duality of neoliberal logic: some women who live in precarity dream about a 'good life' that means basic survival and living conditions, while women who have already secured their basic needs dream about accumulation and social progress.
Chapter 7 interrogates the intersection between the global and local when considering options available for an exit from sex work and looks specifically at the role of the state, the NGO sector and grass-roots sex worker activism to show women’s limited space for agency in this process. This chapter explores how gender operates in this context of the negotiated duality of the African state to show that despite the Kenyan state’s efforts to avoid engaging with gender issues more profoundly and a continuous exclusion of women from the remit of the state, it must open some political space for movements with a gender agenda because of its accountability to donors that are driven by liberal ideas of inclusion. The first and the third parts of this chapter illustrate this process t+G11hrough examining sex workers’ narratives regarding the Kenyan state and politics, as well as analysing the politics of the sex worker movement. The second part of the chapter focuses on the engagement with the international sphere, which has important re-gendering or gender-strategic consequences. The limits of the NGO sector to address gendered inequalities and create viable alternatives for people selling sex are interrogated by analysing programmes targeting individuals selling sex.
Chapter 8 brings together questions of sex work and agency to reflect on gender under neoliberalism. First, the chapter makes a claim about the gendered nature of making a living, with women’s options being defined by informality and depending on male income in exchange for their social reproductive labour. Women who cannot strike a traditional bargain with patriarchy are left in precarity, and some of them choose sex work as one of these precarious informal ways for making a living, so pointing to the gendered inequalities that neoliberal practice builds upon. Second, the chapter points to the neoliberal agency that is possible in these gendered and constrained structures. Women can instrumentalise gendered inequalities for their own progression and accumulation purposes. Discussions about the work strategies and life plans of women selling sex point to such possibilities if they internalise market logic and successfully embrace their neoliberal self in the violent everyday realities. However, as the third part of the chapter shows, such agency is an option available only to a few, and those who cannot or do not manage to negotitate competitive markets for their own advantage remain in gendered precarity and are guided by the logic of livelihood.
Chapter 4 investigates neoliberal transformations by looking at the commercial sex industries of Mombasa and argues that neoliberal footprints are reproduced here as well – from the vast inequalities among women selling sex to individual entrepreneurship and intense competition for the clients. Neoliberal workings in creating divisions show a dual logic when it comes to commercial sex: individuals who manage to refashion themselves in line with the needs of the industry embrace entrepreneurial, business-like behaviour are successful in accumulation, whereas other women, who often are in a disadvantageous situation to start with, usually manage just to survive and thus are governed by a logic of livelihood. This duality of the logic governing sex work is reflected in sex workers' work patterns and their interactions with clients and each other. The first part of the chapter focuses on the ways in which women selling sex operate in the city and adapt their looks and behaviour to attract clients and make as much money as possible; the second part of the chapter interrogates questions of solidarity and competition, with witchcraft narratives arising as a moral commentary on neoliberal duality.
Chapter 1 sets the stage for the book. It situates the argument of the book within discussions on the origins of neoliberalism, neoliberal ideas and practices travelling from the Global North to the Global South and neoliberal duality before moving to demonstrate the limits of gender considerations in theorizing neoliberalism. The chapter puts forward the argument that in order to understand gender under neoliberalism it is crucial to take the experiences of marginalised women – women selling sex in this instance – in the Global South seriously. It surveys debates regarding neoliberalism, sex work and the connection between the two. The chapter concludes with methodological considerations, notes of field research and the outline of the book structure.
Chapter 6 explores the structural obstacles to achieving a post-sex-work ‘good life’, with an emphasis on gendered structural violence and neoliberal agency. Some individuals manage to negotitate sex work better than others, thus reproducing the distinction between winners and losers, and this chapter interrogates what obstacles are important when producing this distinction. The cycle of success in the sex industries, the ability to earn money and spending patterns are investigated to show the difficulties of balancing spending in a way that is compatible with future plans for a ‘good life’. Furthermore, the dangers that define everyday experiences in the sex industries, such as the possibility of unplanned pregnancies, the financial strains of raising children, the probability of alcohol and drug addiction and health risks, are discussed to show how these factors contribute to making an exit from sex work to a ‘good life’ complicated. Thus the chapter points to the limits of gendered agency in the commercial sex.
This chapter investigates the ways in which neoliberal transformations in Kenya have been gendered and how those processes have contributed to increasing gendered precarity. It treats changes in formal economic structures together with informal dynamics to demonstrate the gendered outcomes of neoliberal reforms. First, it interrogates the ways in which the restructuring of the economy since the 1990s has had different effects on men's and women’s positions in the labour markets. The decreasing male ability to earn money and the ways in which these processes have affected informal safety nets are discussed before moving on to explore new ways in which women have been targeted for certain jobs because of their cheap labour. Second, the chapter focuses on a specific disadvantaged group of women – those who fall through the cracks in the informal safety nets and struggle to make a living – to demonstrate the gendered, informal and precarious nature of jobs available to women in such situations, with sex work as one of the alternatives. Finally, the chapter turns to demonstrate the ways in which neoliberal economy and society relies on such gendered precarity and the income generated in this way for social reproduction.
Chapter 3 interrogates the diverse gender roles that women adopt (that of wife, informal wife, mistress, lover, sex worker) to depend on male income, in order to argue that commercial sex is at one extreme end of a such range of survival options. Concentrating on interviewees’ life stories, the first part of the chapter illustrates the different attempts of women to depend on a male income through reproductive labour – both in the informal economic sector and in the domestic sphere. The analysis points to the tensions in the traditionally available options of such dependency in the era of neoliberal transformations, and the difficulties that women face when attempting to pressure men into living up to their obligations. The role of sex workers’ perceptions and assumptions about men and their desires that are the basis for women’s performative gender roles are analysed in the second part of the chapter.
Examines the private sector response to a period of intense political violence centred on a struggle for control of the state in Kenya and South Africa respectively. In each case, key political elites at the heart of the state were implicated in this violence and this was therefore a high-risk area for business to venture into. Nonetheless, in South Africa, certain business leaders came to understand the need to confront and nudge the apartheid state towards political reform because they feared that their business interests might be wiped out in a racialised political conflict. On a practical level, the centralised and concentrated nature of South African capital also made it easier for business to organise, as did the overall nature of the institutions that structured the relationship between the country’s predominantly white political elites and its majority black population.
Although the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Uganda and Kenya in the 1980s and 1990s elicited dramatically different responses from those two governments, the response from the private sector in the region was remarkably consistent. In short, there were striking similarities in how the business sector responded – or, for the most part, failed to respond in both East African countries. There were relatively few constructive responders over all. Much of the explanation for this has to do with the nature of these political economies and the firms that predominate: mostly small to medium-sized and many operating in agriculture and the services sub-sectors, areas of the economy in which it may be difficult for business to organize collectively. Finally, a very large number of Kenyans and Ugandans either work fort themselves or are employed in the informal sectors and hence the relationship between labour and big business is very different from what presents in Southern Africa.
The inhabitants of slums have developed creative ways of addressing the inherent instability of their lives. Chułek analyzes two approaches to self-organizing work on the basis of data gathered in two slum areas of Nairobi, Kibera and Korogocho, arguing that the key element of slum inhabitants’ actions is the reproduction of structures which enable their survival by making their lives predictable. These structures are evident in the work of trash pickers and orodha people, who have developed a finely-tuned infrastructure that governs their actions while allowing room for as many as possible to participate. They can also be seen in the work of hustlers, whose “brain work” is dependent on their network of relationships and on their constant improvisation. These are two examples of the way that inhabitants of Nairobi’s slums manage to maintain a sense of autonomy and agency in the face of constant economic challenge.
Polycentric governance has emergent properties that we argue can be explained through an analysis of the dynamics of institutional change. In this chapter, we use institutional change theories and evolutionary and complex adaptive systems (CAS) thinking to trace mechanisms observed in the change and emergence of polycentric governance. We offer an explanatory model of how polycentric governance changes. Particularly, we consider institutional change of polycentric governance to be negotiated in interdependent (networks of) action situations. Change (or emergence) of governance is the result of endogenous changes (e.g. in power resources actors hold) and/ or of exogenous drivers such as technological change. Polycentric governance shares characteristics with Complex Adaptive Systems (CAS) whose change is evolutionary. We highlight the particular difficulties this perspective entails for assessing institutional performance. We illustrate the evolution of polycentric governance arrangements through two vignettes summarizing case study material from Kenya and Mexico.
Since the early discussions of polycentricity, the concept (and variations such as polycentric political systems, polycentric governance, polycentric order, etc.) has seen the development of numerous permutations, digressions, and contradictions. This chapter is meant to carefully step through key notions tied to polycentricity and polycentric governance. The chapter’s purpose is to discuss polycentric governance in particular, while giving some attention to polycentricity as a term from which polycentric governance originates. We build upon the classic version of polycentric governance as a 'polycentric political system', link this concept with broader conceptualizations of polycentricity, and survey the related ideas that have been investigated around the concepts of polycentric political systems, polycentric order, polycentric governance, and polycentric arrangements.
To examine mothers’ and young children’s consumption of indigenous and traditional foods (ITF), assess mothers’ perception of factors that influence ITF consumption, and examine the relationship between perceived factors and ITF consumption.
Longitudinal study design across two agricultural seasons. Seven-day FFQ utilized to assess dietary intake. Mothers interviewed to assess their beliefs about amounts of ITF that they or their young children consumed and on factors that influence ITF consumption levels.
Seme sub-County, Kenya.
Mothers with young children.
Less than 60 % of mothers and children consumed ITF at time of assessment. Over 50 % of the mothers reported that their ITF consumption amounts and those of their children were below levels that mothers would have liked for themselves or for their young children. High cost, non-availability and poor taste were top three reasons for low ITF consumption levels. Mothers who identified high cost or non-availability as a reason for low levels of ITF consumption had significantly lower odds of consuming all ITF except amaranth leaves. Mothers who identified poor taste had significantly lower odds of consuming all ITF except green grams and groundnuts. Similar relationships were noted for young children’s ITF consumption levels.
A majority of the mothers reported that they and their children did not consume as much ITF as the mothers would have liked. Further studies should examine strategies to improve availability and affordability of ITF, as well as develop recipes that are acceptable to mothers and children.
This chapter explores the impacts of recent land reforms on ethnicity and ethnic mobilisation. It examines the ways in which contemporary land reforms address issues of inclusive development and attempt to ameliorate ethnic conflicts or exacerbate ethnic tensions through the intended and unforeseen consequences of policies and policy assumptions. It also examines the impacts of the increasing commodification and scarcity of land on land conflicts. It first examines the framing and rational basis of land administrative reform in the contemporary period, the nature of reforms carried out in specific nations, and the impact of these reforms on rural society. It then identifies the structural relations that generates ethnic conflicts over land and illuminates this by drawing upon a number of case studies in the literature. This is placed within a historical framework, which seeks to contextualise contemporary land policies within the transformation of African societies and the underlying dilemmas that confront land reform.
This chapter considers whether there is a trade-off between growth and equality, as economists sometimes assert, differentiating between vertical inequality (among individuals) and horizontal inequality (among groups). Most evidence challenges the supposed trade-off, suggesting greater equality increases growth, especially sustained growth. Inequality among individuals tends to limit human resources, while inequality among groups can lead to violent conflict, and both constrain growth. Greater equality also supports other desirable objectives, including better nutrition, less crime, and better health. The impact of growth on equality is analysed. This depends on how far earnings are spread via employment; and the redistributionary effects of tax and government expenditure. Labour-intensive activities tend to improve distribution, while capital-intensive ones, heavy reliance on minerals for exports and rising skill requirements tend to worsen it. For horizontal inequality, the impact of growth varies according to group location, economic specialization and policies, illustrated by the experience of Ghana, Peru, Malaysia and Northern Ireland. The chapter surveys policies likely to improve vertical and horizontal distribution, with examples drawn from many countries. Finally, the chapter considers the political conditions needed to support equalising policies.
By comparing the educational attainment of Kenyans whose years of primary schooling did and did not correspond with the tenure in office of a president from their own ethnic group, we provide evidence suggesting that Kenyan presidents have favored their coethnics in the allocation of educational resources. We discuss the implications of such bias, emphasizing that the main impact is to reinforce perceptions of ethnic favoritism in government allocation decisions that, in turn, fosters resentment across group lines, undermines trust in government, and raises the stakes of elections. We suggest that protecting education from ethnic politics might be achieved by three means: devolution, which may limit executive power and discretion over the distribution of resources; fostering public awareness and social mobilization in favor of more equity in the education sector; or the promotion of private schools as an alternative to the state-sponsored educational sector.
Increasingly, studies have focused on the potential of the education system to enhance social cohesion, in particular in multi-ethnic societies. Indeed, the education system can strengthen social cohesion by providing learners from diverse groups equal learning opportunities. Moreover, schooling can impart the “rules of the game” in a democracy and contribute to developing a common sense of belonging. In this chapter, we reflect on three strands of education that are generally not explicitly linked to social cohesion, but that could play a particularly promising role in this regard: multicultural, citizenship, and peace education. Innovatively, we study these educational approaches from an African perspective – for the continent is often overlooked in the current literature – analysing education in postconflict Côte d’Ivoire and in the ethnically divided society of Kenya. Notwithstanding promising contributions, we identify a number of hurdles to advancing social cohesion through education, including, most importantly, remaining biases and negative inter-group attitudes among teachers.