By Joanna Lewis
“Important because social welfare has recently appeared again as the foremost declared intent of international development practice in Africa. Many, if not most of the themes of contemporary development practice, involving participatory and engendered approaches to development, and including community development and social capital, lie at the heart of this book. Given this contemporary interest, a history of welfare in Africa is timely.”
Michael Cowen, Institute of Development Studies, University of Helsinski
This history of administrative thought and practice in colonial Kenya looks at the ways in which white people tried to engineer social change.
It asks four questions:
- Why was Kenya's welfare operation so idiosyncratic and spartan compared with that of other British colonies?
- Why did a transformation from social welfare to community development produce further neglect of the very poor?
- Why was there no equivalent to the French tradition of community medicine?
- If there was a transformatory element of colonial rule that sought to address poverty, where and why did it fall down?
The answers offer revealing insight into the dynamics of rule in the late colonial period in Kenya.
Joanna Lewis is a lecturer in history, University of Durham. More info →
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This is a sharply observed assessment of the history of the last half century by a distinguished group of historians of Kenya. At the same time the book is a courageous reflection in the dilemmas of African nationhood. Professor B. A. Ogot says: “The main purpose of the book is to show that decolonization does not only mean the transfer of alien power to sovereign nationhood; it must also entail the liberation of the worlds of spirit and culture, as well as economics and politics.
This long-awaited book is a considerable revision in the understanding of the history of colonial Kenya and, more widely, colonialism in Africa. There is a substantial amount of new work and this is interlocked with shared areas of concern that the authors have been exploring since 1976. The authors investigate major themes.
This book explores the history of African womanhood in colonial Kenya. By focussing on key sociocultural institutions and practices around which the lives of women were organized, and on the protracted debates that surrounded these institutions and practices during the colonial period, it investigates the nature of indigenous, mission, and colonial control of African women.