Public sector management reforms in Africa: Analysis of anticorruption strategies in Kenya

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Social Sciences


Deborah Pellow


Management reforms, Anticorruption, Kenya, National anti-corruption policies, Anti-corruption in Africa, Public sector reforms

Subject Categories

African Studies | International and Area Studies | Political Science | Public Administration | Public Affairs, Public Policy and Public Administration | Social and Behavioral Sciences


This study discussed the steps undertaken by the government of Kenya and civil society groups to curb corruption in Kenya from 1994 to 2002. It examined the extent to which these steps have been, or were likely to achieve their goals given the high level of corruption, clientelist politics, and tribal divisions.

Using a methodology that combines desk review, documents analyses, observations, interviews, and situational knowledge of the country, this study contributes to the following: first, to anticorruption practice by providing a framework for sequencing reforms. The framework is useful for analyzing sources of corruption by signaling out the significance of a country's governance contour and political economy as underlying causes of corruption. Second, the study contributes to public administration research by highlighting the importance of a country's governance and political mobilization on corruption.

This is particularly important in a complex ethnically-divided society like Kenya, where governance contour should not be taken as given because it tends to "hide" informal centers of political patronage. Yet, these factors have largely been overlooked in public administration literature and anticorruption practice. Thus, this study fills an important gap in practice and literature by offering an analytical framework for analyzing and dealing with the problem of corruption on the basis of an examination of processes of governance. In this regard, the study is less concerned with the question of testing econometric hypotheses or surveys--the conventional paradigm for public administration and anticorruption practice--than with answering the question of how changes in governance in an ethnically complex society create vulnerabilities for corruption and challenges for reforms.


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