Experiments in Governance and Citizenship in Kenya’s Resource Frontier

Over the past four years, natural resource exploration and development have rapidly expanded across northern Kenya and, as a result, the region is in the midst of a frontier-making project that may have seemed unimaginable a few years ago. In this dissertation, I use the concept of frontier as an analytical framework to examine processes that are transforming society, the economy, and landscape in northern Kenya. This dissertation contributes to scholarship on resource frontiers by analysing the specific governmental technologies used by both powerful and less powerful actors to produce, negotiate and contest the rules that govern landscapes and people in frontiers. In Article #1, I examine the use of novel technologies of governance in frontier spaces. I show how transnational corporations use voluntary standards — designed to regulate their social and environmental conduct — to legitimize and consolidate control over land and resources.