Transition and empowerment: experience of conflicts and legal empowerment in transitioning countries

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This article presents data from over 3300 respondents from two transition countries: Kenya and Yemen. The data from each of these countries indicate that, in transition, individuals feel less empowerment regarding employment problems than they do regarding family and neighbour problems. It is suggested that this low empowerment in relation to employment problems is due to the inaccessibility of formal dispute resolution mechanisms, and the inability of informal mechanisms to overcome power imbalances. This indicates that, in accordance with recent thinking in the development agenda, there should be a stronger focus on addressing how individuals experience and use low-level dispute mechanisms, as well as top-down organisational change. Implications are discussed, and recommendations for future evaluation of the success of transitions are made.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)293-307
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Human Rights
Issue number3
Early online date9 Jun 2015
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 9 Jun 2015


  • Yemen
  • Kenya
  • empirical
  • access to justice
  • transition
  • legal empowerment

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