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W&L Expert Can Address Impact of Decentralization on Kenyan Elections

Released: 1-Mar-2013 11:00 AM EST
Source Newsroom: Washington and Lee University
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Tyler Dickovick, associate professor of politics at Washington and Lee University, is an expert on the decentralization of government and specializes in sub-Saharan Africa, especially Kenya and Ghana.

Dickovick has spent part of two summers working with the Transition Authority in Kenya under the auspices of the U.S. Agency for International Development. He is the author of "Decentralization and Recentralization in the Developing World: Comparative Studies from Africa and Latin America" (Pennsylvania State University Press, 2011).

In assessing the March 4 elections, Dickovick said: "I wish I could be more confident that the decentralization will have some success in avoiding a repeat of the post-election violence in Kenya from 2007 and 2008. Prognostications are always risky. The two African countries that I study the most are Ghana and Kenya. In the lead-up to the Ghanaian election in December, there was some tension and the potential for a bit of ethnic strife. Yet, I felt confident predicting that you would not have in Ghana a significant blowup.

"I am not confident in making any prediction for Kenya about whether events of 2007 and 2008 will repeat themselves or not. I would not be surprised either way."

Dickovick said that officials have worked hard on the decentralized system of government, but he worries that "the time frame in which Kenyan decentralization was expected to work its magic was really, really short."

For additional details, see http://myw.lu/XL7LGq

To arrange an interview with Dickovick, contact Jeffery G. Hanna, Executive Director of Communications and Public Affairs, Washington and Lee University, (540) 458-8459, jhanna@wlu.edu.

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