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Land, livelihoods and belonging : negotiating change and anticipating LAPSSET in Kenya’s Lamu county.

Chome, Ngala (2020) 'Land, livelihoods and belonging : negotiating change and anticipating LAPSSET in Kenya’s Lamu county.', Journal of Eastern African studies., 14 (2). pp. 310-331.

Abstract

To attract investments in mineral extraction, physical infrastructure and agricultural commercialization over a vast swathe of Northern Kenya, national politicians and bureaucrats are casting the area as being both abundant with land and resources, and as, conversely, ‘backward’, ‘unexploited’ and ‘empty’. Drawing on evidence from Lamu County, and focusing on the planned Lamu Port and South Sudan Ethiopia Transport (LAPSSET) corridor, this article contends that such high-modernist and ‘new frontier’ discourses are usually complicated by the realities on the ground. Based on common perceptions about land and ethnicity, and how these are intertwined with the politics of belonging and redistribution, these realities exemplify complex economies of anticipation – through which networks of patronage, alliance, and mobilization are being created or entrenched in advance of major investments. This article argues that it is these anticipations – more than official designs – that will determine the future direction of LAPSSET, especially in respect to who will get what, when and how, within its promised prosperous future.

Item Type:Article
Full text:(VoR) Version of Record
Available under License - Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.
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Full text:(VoR) Version of Record
Available under License - Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.
Download PDF
(2290Kb)
Status:Peer-reviewed
Publisher Web site:https://doi.org/10.1080/17531055.2020.1743068
Publisher statement:© 2020 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.
Date accepted:04 March 2020
Date deposited:26 March 2020
Date of first online publication:17 March 2020
Date first made open access:25 March 2020

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