The Impacts of Politics and Ethnicity on Volunteering
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This article examines how national and local ethno?politics impact on volunteering by taking a cross?country comparative perspective: Kenya and Mozambique. In both countries societal fragmentation along ethno?political lines is mirrored within the volunteer landscape and reduces the positive impacts of volunteering. The role of international volunteers (IVs) from the global North and, in the case of Kenya, national volunteers (NVs), to address these divisions is discussed. The effects of the support of the volunteering for development sector in such ethnically and politically fragmented contexts is also explored. The findings from the current research show that the perceived neutrality of the IV and NV means they may face less risk in attempting to step outside of existing political and ethnic confines than local volunteers or citizens functioning within these environments. Through this neutrality, IVs and NVs may be provided with a unique opportunity to use this position to assuage some of these societal fractions.
CitationPicken, A. and Lewis, S. (2015) The Impacts of Politics and Ethnicity on Volunteering. IDS Bulletin 46(5): 54-68
Is part of seriesIDS Bulletin Vol. 46 Nos. 5
- Volume 46. Issue 5