Award Date


Degree Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Political Science

Advisor 1

Michelle Kuenzi

Advisor 2

John Tuman

Advisor 3

Andrew Hanson


This thesis is focused on multiethnic coalitions in Africa. Specifically, it seeks to identify the causal mechanisms at play in the formation of multiethnic coalitions and whether or not they succeed or fall apart. It also seeks to identify whether multiethnic coalition success or failure is related to the emergence or lack thereof, of violence. Case studies and process tracing are the primary methods of analysis, using Kenya and Senegal as cases under the most similar systems design. There is an examination of the actors involved in the formation of multiethnic coalitions in both nations, why the opposition coalitions fell apart in both Kenya and Senegal as well as the relationship between coalition failure and violence. Through this examination, causal hypotheses have been developed that can be tested by other scholars, thus hopefully leading to more advancements in the field of research on multiethnic coalition formation and success.


Ethnic conflict; Ethnic violence; Federal government; Kenya; Most similar systems design; Multiethnic coalitions; Race relations; Senegal


International Relations | Political Science | Race, Ethnicity and Post-Colonial Studies