The Mau Mau Genocide: A Neo-Lemkinian Analysis

  • Martin Crook Institute of Commonwealth Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of London, UK

Abstract

This paper attempts to analyse the colonisation of Kenya by the British colonial government and the necessary genocidal effect on the ethnic group known as the Kikuyu through the lens of genocide as understood by Raphael Lemkin, the neologist of the term, and the post-liberal tradition he inspired. The latter tradition is grounded in a sociological understanding of genocide which this paper will argue is the most appropriate methodology in the study of a phenomenon which is itself of a sociological nature. Only by applying what has come to be known as a Lemkinian analysis, infused with a Marxist analysis of social entities, (international) political economy and geo-politics can the structures of genocide not only be revealed but explained. What will be termed a neo-Lemkinian analysis, will demonstrate the critical role of the capitalist mode of production and its attendant state both globally and locally in the destruction of the group life of the Kikuyu. The relations of genocide will thus be shown to be capitalist relations of genocide.

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