unthinkable in 1954 was logical and compelling by 1960 -- dispossession of the settlers, an end to direct colonial domination, and as rapid a transfer as possible of state power and key sectors of the agrarian economy to an African dominant class. Even so, considerable effort was expended by the metropolitan state and capital during the 1960-2 period in ultimately futile efforts to find a multiracial formula that would preserve a public political role for Europeans in an independent Kenya. Meanwhile, persistent (if largely groundless) European fears over the devotion of African nationalists to capitalist forms of property and production led to extensive efforts to erect internal and external constraints on radical change that were to a great extent probably unnecessary. Despite the emergence of a general strategy of decolonization, considerable bargaining, temporizing and fumbling false starts ensued before viable institutional arrangements were forged, and the working out of these arrangements was not completed, as in the settlement schemes and the transfer of the rest of the 'White' highlands into African hands, until the 1970s.
The transformation of Kenya into a 'developing nation' was thus partially an unintended conjuncture and partially an intended outcome that emerged from the interplay of structural change and political struggle. In the course of the changes in internal structure and external position in the world system that this involved, the settlers and the political control apparatus of the colonial state began to be displaced when they had become an obstacle to the further development of capitalist social forces in Kenya. The final irony, perhaps, is that the growing articulation of indigenous peasant and capitalist production with international capital, the expanding presence of advanced multinational industrial capital, and the newly independent state's ties to Britain, the USA and international agencies such as the World Bank meant that by the end of the process of 'decolonization' Kenya was more broadly and tightly integrated into the capitalist world system than it had ever been before.
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Publication information: Book title: Control & Crisis in Colonial Kenya:The Dialectic of Domination. Contributors: Bruce Berman - Author. Publisher: James Currey. Place of publication: London. Publication year: 1990. Page number: 417.
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