Violence and dynamic change in eastern Africa

A regional symposium on trends, dynamics and conditions of violence in the region Nairobi, October 12-13 2015
The Institute for Development Studies (IDS) in the University of Sussex and CHRIPS partnered in convening a regional symposium on 12 and 13 October 2015, focusing on the dynamics o violence in eastern Africa precipitated by pursuit of large scale development projects in parts of the region. The symposium brought together a small group of researchers from Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, South Sudan and Ethiopia to share new work relating to questions on the impact of large scale developments and the trends, dynamics and patters of violence in the regions. Key questions for consideration included:

  1. How are intensifying processes of regional economic integration and growth influencing dynamics of violence in eastern Africa?
  2. Who frames the meaning, interpretation and pursuit of integration? How does integration map onto contemporary understandings of violence, shifts in the global political economy and different responses at scale?
  3. How do ‘extractive’ projects situate themselves within narratives of growth, transformation and ‘development’ of agro-ecosystems, livelihood strategies, and local economies?
  4. How do narratives of transformation and attempts to secure wide political support for these projects compare to the distribution of investments and benefits?
  5. How are ‘enclaves’ of intervention generating wider impacts, and who loses and wins from these processes?


We held the symposium in two sessions: one and a half days of presentation of current work with the researchers receiving feedback; and an afternoon panel discussion on the research questions/themes for policy-makers and practitioners at the Nairobi Forum. The Nairobi Forum was hosted by the British Institute of East Africa in Nairobi.