To examine radicalisation of Kenyan youth in slum areas with a case study of Majengo in Nairobi County

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Radicalization based on religious affiliation has for a long time been the cause of terrorism the world over. In East Africa, Somalia has been the topic of discussion when talking about terrorism. However, when an in-depth analysis was conducted, citizens of Somalia did not get directly involved in the sporadic acts of terror that the Al-Shabaab took credit for. They were revealed to have been recruiting people from Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda to do the dirty work. Relative deprivation theory holds that frustration due to unmet expected achievement leads to anger that in turn breeds violent aggression. What this means is that people are heavily affected by the difference between what they are getting at the present and what they are expecting to get in life. When none of the alternative forms of satisfaction are provided and the little resources available are distributed in an unbalanced manner leading to sectoral regional imbalance, protracted conflict arises. Radicalization is the process of gradually subscribing to a violent ideology promoting terrorism. 

This paper seeks to answer the question of the extent to which relative deprivation and government repression have necessitated radicalization in Kenya. Instead of presenting psychological ideological jihadist radicalization as the root cause of all terror attacks in Kenya, the focus will rather be on the domestic socio-economic grievances which those behind the terror groups exploit to recruit their followers. The main data collection method that is used is the content analysis of previous studies in this area. Majengo slum was chosen as the research site because of the economic marginalisation and lack of formal settlements and government presence in the slums. The findings suggests that frustration brought about by relative deprivation due to socio-economic marginalisation play a significant role in contributing to violent collective aggression. In conclusion, I discuss possible policy recommendations of my findings, which may inform future research. 

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PROF. AMB. MARIA NZOMO
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