Reparations and the politics of waiting in Kenya.


This article examines transitional justice in Kenya, drawing on interviews and focus groups with survivors of the post-election violence of 2007–2008. Focusing particularly on the experiences of women and internally displaced persons (IDPs), it explores how survivors understood and negotiated waiting for reparations and analyses the effects of temporal uncertainty (around timing and scope) and of inequality (in relation to waiting times). Uncertainty and inequality contributed to survivors’ senses of passivity and exacerbated their feelings of marginalisation. To delay reparations for an uncertain time contributes to senses of continuity with the past, which transitional justice precisely seeks to disrupt. However, the study also demonstrates that waiting is not only endured, but at times actively resisted or rejected, which might be understood as a claim to ownership of local peace and exercise of peacebuilding agency but also as resistance against the dominant temporality of transitional justice. By framing survivors’ experiences with the scholarship on time and power and the “politics of waiting”, the research contributes to the literature on local experiences and understandings of transitional justice and to recent debates around its temporalities

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