Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy


Political Science

Date of Defense


Graduate Advisor

Jean-Germain Gros


David C. Kimball

Todd Swanstrom

Yuguo Liao


This study examines factors that exacerbate corruption in Kenya, focusing on institutional weakness as a key factor that fosters corruption in government institutions. Thus, the study examines difficulty in accessing public services, lack of availability of the broadest and most straightforward access to information, and electoral manipulation -voter intimidation, and inability to remove elected leader through the ballot. The study uses Afrobarometer round 8 dataset collected between November and December 2019. This data set was collected under the guidance of the University of Nairobi Institute for Development Studies IDS. Additionally, the study considers a comprehensive literature review to assess and historicize public administration in Kenya, as well as leadership of previous presidents.

Result from the study has revealed that difficulty in accessing public services, difficulty finding information on how government uses taxes, and the inability to remove leaders through the ballot are important determinants of perceptions of corruption in the civil service. The study concludes that government needs to consider adopting systems that can guarantee easy access to public services, and public information. Otherwise, the inability to access public services and information from government, particularly how government uses revenue, portend a bleak future of runaway corruption. Moreover, electoral manipulations negate the principles of pluralist governance, thus, citizens cannot hold leaders accountable, because they lack a mechanism that facilitates the election of their leaders of choice.