Dynamics Of Parliamentary Diplomacy And Kenya’s Foreign Policy; 1963 – 2014


Globally, parliaments have a lot of influence not only on national legislation but also in shaping foreign policies of states. However, there is scarcity of studies interrogating the role of the Kenyan parliament in influencing foreign policy since independence in 1963. Therefore, the main objectives of the study were to interrogate the extent to which the National Assembly influence Kenya’s foreign policy from 1963 to 1978, analyze the mechanisms that have been used by National Assembly to influence Kenya’s foreign policy from 1979 to 2002, and to assess the impact of the National Assembly on Kenya’s foreign policy from 2003 to 2014 in Kenya. The study employed two theories; realism theory and two-level game framework that attempts to analyse dynamics of parliamentary diplomacy on Kenya’s foreign policy. Descriptive research design was employed in this study. The target population was current and former members of parliament, diplomats, ministers, and other experts in the field of foreign relations. The population sample was selected using purposive sampling technique in order to select knowledgeable key informants. Data analysis entailed transcribing the raw data from recordings and in-depth interviews, coding into themes then incorporating secondary sources for a critical analysis. The study findings revealed that, beginning of Kenyatta’s regime parliament had powers bestowed to them by the constitution allowing them to have significant influence on Kenya’s foreign policy. However, during Kenyatta’s regime (1963-1978), the law did not restrict the Executive ability to conduct foreign policy without involving Parliament. Power of parliament was muted and confined to back bench debates without firm executive resolution to address issues with foreign policy implications. During Moi’s regime, it was established that parliament was under the control of the executive arm of the government, and did not resist these amendments. However, several mechanisms were used by KNA to influence foreign policy i.e. oversight visits to Embassies/Missions abroad by the Committee on Defense and Foreign Relations; contemporary forms of parliamentary diplomacy operated within informal groups; and legislation, oversight and representation to budget making and vetting public office appointees, even though with political constraints. The analysis further revealed that during Kibaki’s regime, the period was marked with optimism and renewed hopes for a better economy as well as rewriting the constitution. Promulgation of 2010 constitution redefined the power of KNA e.g. affords them with powers to leverage country’s foreign policy. More so, MPs have enhanced their role on the conduct of Kenya’s foreign policy through parliamentary committees, Speaker of the National Assembly, and visitation/representation /fact-finding missions. The study concluded that the effectiveness of parliamentary diplomacy is anchored in the 2010 constitution and there before, diplomatic relations were more of succession politics. The study recommends the need to develop an efficient and comprehensive parliamentary strategic framework which guides parliamentary diplomacy and its linkage to governmental diplomacy. There is also need to harmonize national, regional, continental and international structures of parliamentary diplomacy into a single parliamentary committee supported by competent secretariat funded by the parliamentary service commission.

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WEHLIYE, A (2021). Dynamics Of Parliamentary Diplomacy And Kenya’s Foreign Policy; 1963 – 2014. Afribary. Retrieved from https://afribary.com/works/dynamics-of-parliamentary-diplomacy-and-kenya-s-foreign-policy-1963-2014

MLA 8th

WEHLIYE, ADAN "Dynamics Of Parliamentary Diplomacy And Kenya’s Foreign Policy; 1963 – 2014" Afribary. Afribary, 01 Jun. 2021, https://afribary.com/works/dynamics-of-parliamentary-diplomacy-and-kenya-s-foreign-policy-1963-2014. Accessed 30 May. 2024.


WEHLIYE, ADAN . "Dynamics Of Parliamentary Diplomacy And Kenya’s Foreign Policy; 1963 – 2014". Afribary, Afribary, 01 Jun. 2021. Web. 30 May. 2024. < https://afribary.com/works/dynamics-of-parliamentary-diplomacy-and-kenya-s-foreign-policy-1963-2014 >.


WEHLIYE, ADAN . "Dynamics Of Parliamentary Diplomacy And Kenya’s Foreign Policy; 1963 – 2014" Afribary (2021). Accessed May 30, 2024. https://afribary.com/works/dynamics-of-parliamentary-diplomacy-and-kenya-s-foreign-policy-1963-2014