Violence in the Contemporary Political History of Eastern Africa

Peer-reviewed Journal Article

Rolandsen, Øystein H. & David M. Anderson (2015) Violence in the Contemporary Political History of Eastern Africa, International Journal of African Historical Studies 48(1): 1–12.

​​The articles gathered in this issue of the International Journal of African Historical Studies
focus on the role of violence in the consolidation of state power in eastern Africa, from the
late 1950s into the early 1980s.1 These were critical years in the modern history of the
region, witnessing the transition from colonial rule to the Cold War, a period of
decolonization during which the external relations of all countries in eastern Africa
underwent dramatic change, and a phase in which new African governments strove to
establish their political base, their bureaucratic and executive authority, and their
legitimacy. The contributions here highlight and exemplify how collective violence
permeated these political developments, in some cases coming to define the character of
national or local political authority. The five articles exemplify the diversity of violence in
the modern history of four countries—Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, and Burundi. Political
authority, legitimacy, and violent contestation are the three themes that bind these five case
studies together.

​Online access to this article will be available later.