Civil society and spaces for natural resource governance in Kenya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the Kenyan context of new resource discoveries and an ambitious devolution programme, and what is argued to be a shrinking of civic space globally, the role of civil society organisations (CSOs) working on natural resource governance is critical. The resilience, space and capacity of civil society to engage in the policy process, from community-based organisations to national non-governmental organisations, all shape outcomes in terms of legislation, policy and management of scarce resources. Drawing on interviews with CSOs from across Kenya, following the new 2010 constitution and devolution programme, this article explores how new negotiated spaces of participation around resource governance have emerged in Kenya. Using multidimensional frameworks to analyse power relations, it explores how Kenyan CSOs are cautiously redefining roles, offering expertise when devolved governments struggle, and standing up to powerful interests of corporate lobbies with varying degrees of success.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1740-1757
Number of pages18
JournalThird World Quarterly
Issue number10
Early online date7 Jul 2020
Publication statusPublished - 30 Sep 2020


Coventry University Pump-Prime funding


  • Kenya
  • civil society
  • devolution
  • natural resource governance
  • participatory spaces
  • power cube

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development

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