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Ian Stuart Kelly

In Echoes of Success, Ian Stuart Kelly uses new information about late Victorian Scottish Highland battalions to provide new insights into how groups identify themselves, and pass that sense on to successive generations of soldiers.
Kelly applies concepts from organisational theory (the study of how organisations function) to demonstrate how soldiers’ experiences create a ‘blueprint’ of expected behaviours and thought patterns that contribute to their battalion’s continued success. This model manages the interplay between public perception and actual life experiences more effectively than current approaches to understanding identity. Also, Kelly’s primary research offers a more certain description of soldiers’ life, faith, education, and discipline than has previously been available.

Insurgency and Counterinsurgency in Kenya

A Social History of the Shifta Conflict, c. 1963-1968

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Hannah Whittaker

In Insurgency and Counterinsurgency in Kenya, Hannah Whittaker offers an in-depth analysis of the Somali secessionist war in northern Kenya, 1963-68. Combining archival and oral data, the work captures the complexity of the conflict, which combined a series of local, national and regional confrontations. The conflict was not, Whittaker argues, evidence of the potency of Somali nationalism, but rather an early expression of its failure. The book also deals with the Kenyan government’s response to the conflict as part of the entrenchment of African colonial boundaries at independence. Contrary to current narratives of an increasingly borderless world, Whittaker reminds us of the violence that is produced by state-led attempts to shore up contested borderlands. This work provides vital insights into the history behind the on-going troubled relationship between the Kenyan state and its Somali minority, and between Kenya and Somalia.