New Start or False Start? The ICC and Electoral Violence in Kenya

Sabine Hoehn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article investigates how far the International Criminal Court (ICC) trial of post-election violence in Kenya represented a new start for Kenyan politics, for international criminal justice in Africa, and for the international response to democratic violence more broadly. For the first time an international criminal court investigated violence associated with the democratic process. The prosecution of instigators of violence was not only a demonstration of a far less patient international approach to a democratic process gone wrong; it also provided the internationally expected response to exceptional levels of violence in the face of domestic inaction. However, it is less clear whether the ICC case represents a new beginning for Kenya. It might be a new start for political accountability in the context of a weak domestic judiciary, but it cannot address the structural root causes of violence that require political reform rather than criminal prosecution.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)565–588
JournalDevelopment and change
Issue number3
Early online date20 Apr 2014
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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