Sunday, April 06, 2008

Identity and Violence (with apologies to Amartya Sen)

In Kenya, violence abounds, as do analyses of its causes and consequences. An efficient way of dividing opinion on the matter is to ask four questions: Was the violence planned? Was it 'ethnic'? Was there ethnic cleansing? Was it 'political'?

We aren't short of people who will answer no to all save the last for boring political reasons; we needn't worry about them. But others, for presumably non-political reasons, will do likewise. 'Unless names are invidiously named', as Timothy Williamson once said, 'sermons like this... tend to cause less offence than they should, because everyone imagines that they are aimed at other people'. Maina Kiai, Tavia Nyong'o, here's looking at you.

Read more from Daniel Waweru here.