Future-making and scalar politics in a resource frontier: Energy projects in northern Kenya

Abstract

This contribution explores conflicts in the context of energy-related investments and infrastructure projects in Kenya’s arid and semiarid north. Over the past decade or so this historically marginalised region has turned into a resource frontier. Such frontiers arise as capitalist and state actors penetrate rural hinterlands, with the aim of transforming these regions according to competing visions of the future that operate at different scales. The projects considered here include the Lake Turkana Wind Power Project (LTWP), the expansion of geothermal energy production, and the extraction of crude oil, which jointly exemplify the contested and scalar politics entailed by “future-making”. Against this background, this contribution analyses how different energy projects are brought about by different actors, including how their impacts on local livelihoods are negotiated across scales. This contribution explores how frontier situations generally, and the recent devolution of government in Kenya, impact such negotiations.

Greiner, C, Klagge, B, Grawert, E, Mkutu, K 2022, ‘Future-making and scalar politics in a resource frontier: Energy projects in northern Kenya‘, PLAAS Working Papers, No. 63, Full Text.

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