Author: Joel Kibet Kiptoo

Kiptoo, Joel Kibet, 2017 IS KENYA'S STATE-CENTRIC COUNTER-TERRORISM APPROACH LIKELY TO SUCCEED IN COMBATING TERRORISM?, Flinders University, School of History and International Relations

This electronic version is made publicly available by Flinders University in accordance with its open access policy for student theses. Copyright in this thesis remains with the author. This thesis may incorporate third party material which has been used by the author pursuant to Fair Dealing exceptions. If you are the owner of any included third party copyright material and/or you believe that any material has been made available without permission of the copyright owner please contact with the details.


This thesis examines Kenya’s state-centric counter-terrorism approach in response to Al-Shabaab’s terrorist threats in the country. It employs three security theories that attempt to decipher the best approach in countering terrorism- the traditionalist military view; human security paradigm and the critical terrorism school of thought. It demonstrates that Kenya is guided by the traditionalist view but then argues that this approach is likely to fail since it neglects fundamental drivers of terrorism that need to be addressed if at all a successful campaign against terrorism is to be realized. It suggests that Kenya’s continued neglect of these underlying issues, which include increased marginalization of its Muslim communities, are likely to be exploited by Al-Shabaab to make easy recruitments. The thesis then analyzes Kenya’s hardline policies and argues that contrary to winning the fight against terrorism; they are likely to be counter-productive, resulting in a domino effect of attacks and counter-attacks. It also argues that because of the discriminatory tendencies of the local level counter-terrorism operations, which are targeted at the Kenyan Muslim population (ethnic Somalis and Coastal communities), this approach risks increasing the impetus of the disenfranchised youth from within these communities to enlist into terrorist organizations.


Subject: International Relations thesis

Thesis type: Masters
Completed: 2017
School: School of History and International Relations
Supervisor: DR. TANYA LYONS