Doctoral Research ProposalTopic: ElusiveJustice: The Maasai Challenges of Land Appropriation in Kenya.A CriticalTheoryKoissaba B. R.OleInstitute on Family and NeighborhoodLifeClemson University
Born among the Maasai Tribe of KenyaAssociate Diploma: Art Teaching- Kenya PolytechnicPost Graduate Diploma- Theology and Development, Leeds University UKMA Social Entrepreneurship- Northwest University Kirkland WAOver 20 years working for International NGOs,Consulted for: UN,USAID,AUSAID,EU,UNDP & OTHER CIVIL SOCIETYPUBLICATIONS AT Ph.D. LEVELE-learningPrinciples and Practices in the Context of Indigenous Peoples: A comparative Study.https://www.culturalsurvival.org/sites/default/files/ips_and_e-learning.pdfEducation for All: The prospects and challenges of mobile schools, mobile education, and e-learning for the Nomadic Pastoralists in Kenya.http://kessa.org/past_conference/2013_conference.Book ChapterElusive Justice: The Maasai Contestestation of Land Appropriation in Kenya. A Historical and Contemporary Perspective.American Society ofInternationalLaw and will be published in a forth coming book titled “Indigenous Rights in InternationalLawPeer reviewed and conference paperCommunity Development: The Dilemma of Theory and Practice.Kenya Scholars and Studies Association 2014 conference to be held in University of NorthAlabama 4th-7thSeptember 2014BOOK:Koissaba, B.R. Ole. (2012). Local Advocacy to National Activism: Maa Civil Society Forum, Kenya. ISBN 978-3-659-26221-0
Objectivesof thestudyTo investigate and document both the historical and contemporary legal and policy frameworks that have contributed to appropriation of Maasai land inKenyaTo examine and analyze the Maasai socio-political and economic structure in relation to how colonization, and post- independence policy and legal regimes have contributed to the current dispensation of land loss.To examine the land appropriation from a legal (regulatory) and human rights perspective.To provide policy recommendations from a legal and human rights perspectives to inform the social-cultural patterns of the Maasai; address theeconomic, health,and education situation as well as redress the Maasai loss of native land.
ConceptualframeworkThisstudy uses a Critical Theory approach (Harbamas, 1987, 1996).Critical Theory seeks the emancipation of society and the liberation of human beings from circumstances that oppress them.Itseeks to contextualize philosophical claims to truth and moral universality without reducing them to social and historical conditions, and therefore preventing the loss of truth about the past knowledge and actions in any society (Harbamas, 1996) .Enablesthe researcher to study social institutions and how they have transformed over time and their contributions to the critical reflective processes aimed at empowering the community (Creswell, 2007).It is a critical thinking approach aimed at “empowering” people.Critical Theory is also interested in those social facts and circumstances that constrain the realization of the “ideal democracy” and force people to reconsider its normative content (Harbamas, 1996).
Guiding principleThestudy is guided by Harbamas concepts oflegitimacy, communication, rationality, discourse, democracy, facts, and norms.Accordingto Harbamas (1996), legitimacy is subjective and found in the belief and perceptions of individuals and groups towards the actions andbehaviorsof others.Harbamasfurther argues that legitimacy creates an assurance among the public that the government is making appropriate and just decisions that benefit everyone.Contrary to Harbamas arguments, legitimacy of both the colonial and post- colonial regimes in Kenya in regards to making appropriate and just decisions that benefited everyone is contestable.
Figure1 Research proposal concept map
Dispossessions’ of land through the Maasai agreements of 1904/1911 and subsequent post- colonial land policies
Social Effects:DeathIntermarriagesBroken FamiliesLoss of heritage sitesLoss of cultural valuesLoss of Identity
Political Effects:New Westernpolitical systemLoss of traditional leadership structuresPolitical domination by immigrant communities
Environmental Effects:OvergrazingChange in landuse systemsResource based conflict
Psychological Effects:Loss of dignityLoss of attachment to landSeparation of familiesLoss f self-esteem
Economic Effects:Loss of grazing landLoss of livestockLoss of laborIncreased levels of povertyApathy
MethodologyResearchDesignA qualitative design was selected for thisstudy.As I previously stated the issues that critical theory examines are structures, dominant ideology, and life world, are important to me and match the research questions. Within this paradigm, theoretical ideas from Harbamas (1996) particularly the theory of legitimation will be used.
Sampling, Participants, and DocumentsThepopulation is167,000peopledrawn from group ranches in Kajiado, Narok Counties as well as the Maasai population that that lives in Nakuru County,Baringo, Samburu and Laikipia Counties.Apurposeful sub-sample of a population of 30 from all the mentioned areas will be selected for interviews using the criterion based strategy (Creswell, 2013).The participants will beinformation rich, that is, they have the information, knowledge, and experience with Maa land acquisition that the researcher requires for the study.Iwill locate the participants by using existing social networks which includeFacebook, LinkedIn,and the membership of Maa Civil Society Forum which brings together several NGOs, FBOs and individuals from Maa speaking communities inKenya( Apparently I am the National chair and coordinator of the forum).Suchdocuments willinclude:Colonialand post- colonial legislations onland;TheMaasai agreements of 1904 and1911;Newspaper reports;TheLancaster Independence Conferencereport;OleNjogocase of 1913 and other cases that have been filed incourts;Conferencereports, academic papers, Land Commissionsreports;TheConstitution ofKenya,and reports from human rights and advocacy groups.Thesereports have already been obtained by the researcher through his extensive work in advocacy and human rights.
Researcher –ParticipantRelationshipEtic:Detached relationships.Inorder not to influence the study outcomes, the etic of the study will be undertaken before the emicapproach -Willeliminate cultural biases by becoming culturally neutral, limiting any ethnocentric, political or alienation of the Maasai culture and perspectives of landappropriation.Emic:Iwill try to put aside prior theories and assumptions in order to let the participants and data speak to them and to allow themes, patterns, and concepts to emerge. This will enable the respect for local viewpoints, and its potential to uncover unexpected findings. This for me as an insider as well as the researcher is perfect situation that“Icannot be neutral in a movingtrain”(Zinn, 1994).
ProcedureThe core inquiry for this study that the researcher will useare:a) field notes;b) in-depth interview ;c) historical analysis;d)films, videos and photography;e) analyzing documents and material culture.InterviewsI will use Creswell (2013) 7 steps of interviewing supplemented with Patton (2002) general categories of interviews as a guide for the interviews.Iwill develop an interview guide with open ended questions.Iwill explore a few general topics to help uncover the participant’s views but otherwise respects how the participant frames and structures the responses.Theinterviews will be carried out in Narok, Kajiado, Nakuru,Baringo, Laikipia, and Samburu Counties of the Rift Valley province in Kenya.
DocumentReviewIt involves the reviewof a variety of existing sources with the intention of collecting independently verifiable data and information ( Creswell, 2013).I will review both historical and contemporary documents suchas:Colonialand post- colonial legislations onland;TheMaasai agreements of 1904 and 1911, newspaperreports;TheLancaster Independence Conferencereport;OleNjogocase of 1913 and other cases that have been filed incourts;Conferencereports,Academicpapers,LandCommissions reports,TheConstitution of Kenya.Otherdocuments for review willincludelaws that are relevant to the field of study. These include:Forest Act (Cap 385);GovernmentLands Act (Cap 280);Registered Land Act (Cap 300);TrustLand Act (Cap 288);Land(Group Representatives) Act (Cap 287);Land Adjudication Act (Cap 284);NationalLand Policy,2009.
Historical AnalysisItis particularly useful in qualitative studies for establishing a baseline or background prior to participant observation or interviewing (Creswell, 2013).Iwill consider the following sources of data in the historical analysis data:contemporaryrecords, including instructions, stenographic records, business and legal papers, and personal notes and memos;confidential reports, including military records, journals and diaries, and personal letters;publicreports, including newspaper reports and memoirs or autobiographies;government documents, including archives and regulations;opinions, including editorials, speeches, pamphlets, letters to the editor, and public opinion polls;fiction, songs, and poetry;folklore.Films, Videos, and PhotographyFilms and photography have the unique ability to capture visible historical phenomena objectively. According toSztoet al. (2005) various forms of photography can be used for data collection and for organizing, interpreting, and validating qualitative inquiry (Szto, Furman, & Langer, 2005).The researcher will use available films and other documentaries in life crises, cultural events and ceremonies, documented social conflicts that have been transmitted to successive generations.
Ethics and Ethical proceduresThe study will take into consideration the protection of the rights, and welfare of human subjects recruited to participate in research activities conducted under the auspices of Clemson University by adhering to Institutional Review Board (IRB) requirements. The researcher currently has a current Human Subjects Protections Course Curriculum Completion Certificate but will obtain IRB approval.
Data AnalysisIwill use Hatch’s (2002) 8 steps procedure for critical theory analysis.I will code the data related to my assumptions (deductive) and code inductively as new themes emerge.I will consider my assumptions and their codes as well as Habermas’ and do an analysis of the codes to know which of my assumptions are supported by Habermas codes.Iwill there after write analytical memos and notes about possible generalizations (including those to Habermas); verify my understanding and interpretation through checking, and writing up an analysis.TrustworthinessIwill be candid about my biases and presuppositions, and I have tried to develop a coherent research design.The criteria for judging quality in qualitative research arecredibility, transferability, dependability, and conformability(Creswell, 2013; Lincoln &Guba, 1994).I will demonstrate that a true picture of the phenomenon under scrutiny is beingpresentedI will provide a summary of the analysis to the participants to validate and makecommentsIwillseek to identify and explain cases that contradict myinterpretationsI will combinemy findings with those from othersourcesI will takea personal reflection actionprocess (reflexivity)
Transferability and ValidityTransferability:Theextent to which the ﬁndings of one study can be applied to other situations.Validity:Thatthe research findings truly represent the phenomenon the researcher is claiming tomeasure.For purposes of this study, validity is used to denote quality, trustworthiness, and authenticity of the data. To ensure for the validity of the data, the researcher will use triangulation and expert opinion.Researcher CredibilityTheresearcher has a long history spanning over 20 years in the field of advocacy and human rights especially Maasai land rights and a founder chair of Maa Civil Society Forum which was formed in 2004 to advocate for the rights of the Maasai people in Kenya.As an advocate to the rights of the Maasai I have participated in various, local, national, regional and international conferences and workshops where I have presented position papers on the human rights situation of the Maasai and was the global co-chair of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues during the 2009 session held in New York.I am a member of several national and international human rights organization and a regular contributor to several Indigenous Peoples’ journals.I have authored a book“Advocacy to National Activism: Maa Civil SocietyForum, Kenyaand other publications on the rights of Indigenous People. As a researcher I am currently a volunteer consultant on Indigenous People with the World Bank, USAID, UNICEF and UNDP.
Scope and limitation of thestudyThestudy has the following limitations:The period covered is comprehensive and since most of the eye witnesses of the first and second Maasai moves in 1904 and 1911 havedied.Existing literature is limited and biased towards general perspectives of the Maasai culture and other aspects that relate to changes affecting theMaasai.Sampling biasdue to the fact thatthe available information is only available from those who have participated in land appropriation processes either through advocacy or litigation.The researcher is not a legal expert (attorney), but has access to legal statutes related to the study area which will be examined and analyzed.The researcherwillnot return to Kenya to collect data. The internet (Skype) and the phone will be used to conduct the interviews.
Chapter overviewChapter1:Introductionof the case study and gives out a brief history of the Maasai and land acquisition and policy issues. The chapter examines Critical Theory to address Maasai land appropriation and policy studies related to land inKenyaChapter2:Examination ofthe Critical Theory which is the framework for the study and the concepts that are used in the study.Chapter3:Examinationof the methodology and the contextualizing of Critical Theory approach in thestudyChapter4:Examinationof the Maasaihistory and deconstruction of stereotyping of the Maasai as a people by Eurocentric and Western Anthropologists.Chapter 5:Examinationof the history of Maasai land acquisition in Kenya.Chapter6:Examination ofboth local and international legal and policy processes that the Maasai have used in contesting both historical and contemporary land appropriation in Kenya.Chapter 7:Discussionand conclusion of the study. It provides a summary of Critical Theory analysis of the challenges of the Maasai contestation of land appropriation, thematic and policy implications, study limitations, and recommendations for future research and policy recommendations
Research QuestionsRQ1.What factors or changes in government policy or law brought about the continued loss of land among the Maasai people in Kenya?RQ 2.Have there beenany governmentpolicies or legal mechanismsto preservecultural, land use, and land rightspractices of its peoplein Kenya?RQ3.Are Group Representatives Actand Trust Land Actand other resource related laws effectivein protecting Maasailand rights and land use practicesas envisaged at the time of theirenactment ?RQ 4.What in your view has contributedto current trend which has seen massive land sales by individual land title owners in what was formally group ranchesamong the Maasaicommunity?RQ 5.What are the social, political, and economic impacts and consequences of continued land sales in Maasai land ?RQ 6.Are there any efforts being made to either stop continued land sales or streamline land sub-division and sale in Maasai land?RQ7. Who in your view has been instrumental in addressing issues of land loses in Maasai land and what are the successes and challenges they face ?RQ8.What are your recommendations for further action on how to engage the Maasai people to stop the sale of land?