A few non-corona Easter Week reads

Christianity’s explosive growth in Kenya,” by Philip Jenkins in The Christian Century.

Here is an interesting paper regarding the choice of the instrumental use of election violence:

Stealing an Election: Violence or Fraud?∗

Dawn Brancati, (corresponding author) Yale University

Elizabeth M. Penn, Emory University

Spring 2020

Abstract

Political actors often resort to electoral violence in order to gain an edge over their competitors even though violence is much harder to hide than fraud and more likely to delegitimize elections as a result. The existing literature tends to treat violence and fraud as equivalent strategies or to treat violence as a means of last resorts due to its overtness. We argue, in contrast, that violence is neither and, in fact, that political actors often use violence for the very reason that it is hard to hide. Its overtness, we argue, allows political actors to observe whether the agents they enlist to manipulate elections for them do so and reduces these agents’ likelihood of shirking in turn. We develop our argument through a formal model, illustrating how increasing incentives to shirk due to electoral monitoring induces actors to use violence, and use process tracing to test the implications of this model through the example of pre-2011 Egypt.

And new poetry from Sonya Kassam at “Follow Your Shadow” with a “quarantine music” interlude.

Sunday music: Sauti Sol

 

Nairobi’s Sauti Sol featured on NPR’s Weekend Edition for a “sunny” but authentic appeal: “Native Sons Sing Straight to Kenya’s Youth”.

Here is “Blue Uniform”, video with lyrics, at Ghalfa.com.

At the Ghalfa Blog: “Sauti Sol is the Finest Kenyan Band to Walk the Earth:  Here’s Why”:

They have cross demographic appeal

Whether you are from the hilly valleys of Kakamega, or from the concrete jungle in Nairobi, Sauti Sol don’t leave you feeling alienated. Why? They sing in fluent English, Kiswahili and their native Luhya dialect. That’s a rare triple threat that you don’t get from many Nairobi bands, ESPECIALLY those from suburbia.

They have cross border appeal

These guys top charts from Kenya to the Netherlands. They also have mzungu fans screaming their name at international festivals such as South by South West in Austin, Texas. But don’t take my word for it, just take a look at the video . . . for their spellbinding performance of ‘Awinja’ at SXSW earlier this year . . .