Good guest, bad guest: the micro-geographies of violence in urban Kenya

Sarah Jenkins

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    2 Citations (Scopus)


    This article analyses the 2007–08 postelection violence in Kenya arguing that there were significant socio-spatial variations to the conflict in urban areas that can be better understood through an analysis of localised framing processes. It argues that, in some urban neighbourhoods, an underlying frame of autochthony is (re)produced through lived experience, facilitating the casting of ethnic others as either good or bad guests in times of political transition. The flawed elections of 2007 justified the violent eviction of ‘bad’ guests in these settings. This frame of autochthony, however, is absent in other urban neighbourhoods, and so these spaces remained relatively calm for the duration of the crisis. The article further argues that the flexibility of the good guest/bad guest frame enabled its reconfiguration at the local level, leading to variations in the fault lines of conflict across both time and space. It concludes that frame analysis can help to elucidate these micro-geographies of conflict.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)222-241
    JournalCivil Wars
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2015


    • micro-geographies of conflict
    • Kenya
    • political violence
    • postelection violence


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