SOAS University of London

Department of Politics and International Studies

Ms L. Muthoni Wanyeki

BA (Hons) (UNB/SFU); MPA (Cum Laude) (Sciences Po)
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  • Research


Muthoni Wanyeki-l
Ms L. Muthoni Wanyeki
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Thesis title:
‘African solutions for African problems’: the question of member states’ compliance with the African Union using Kenya as a case study
Year of Study:
Internal Supervisors

PhD Research

In 2001, the Constitutive Act of the African Union came into effect. The Constitutive Act set out stronger normative standards on democracy, human rights and the rule of law, including new limitations on state sovereignty and an end to non-intervention. Kenya has always had an, if not ambivalent, then off-hand relationship to these advances. This attitude has now, however, changed. In 2008, the violence that followed the 2007 General Elections left over 1,000 people dead and half a million internally displaced. The AU appointed a Panel of Eminent African Personalities headed by former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan to mediate an agreement to end the violence. The Kenya National Dialogue and Reconciliation stands today as one of the AU’s success stories. And it marked the beginning of a new engagement by the Government of Kenya with the AU. The key question is what prompted Kenyan compliance with the AU’s KNDR? A secondary question is how Kenya now defines its foreign policy in respect of the AU. The problem is significant in that it helps illustrate the emerging role of the AU and its actual potential to effect limitations on state sovereignty. It raises the question as to what—short of military intervention—can provide leverage in respect of recalcitrant state actors in Africa today, particularly in states where overseas development assistance is no longer as critical as in the past. Finally, it raises a dilemma of regional integration with respect to determining foreign policy.


  • African Leadership Centre, King's College London/University of Nairobi (Board member)
  • Kenya Human Rights Commission (Vice Chair)
  • Open Society Justice Initiative (Chair)


Human rights (including women’s human rights); democratisation and electoral politics; equality and anti-discrimination (in the context of ethnic and religious nationalism); organised crime (including terrorism) and security sector reform (including counter-terrorism); (the limits of) institutionalist reform; the politics of transitional and international justice; regional integration; Kenya; Africa; the African Union (AU)