Date of Conferral





Public Policy and Administration


Ian Cole


AbstractResearch on terrorism in Kenya often involved a separation of concepts contributing to the issue of terrorism. Researchers have focused on Al-Shabab and demonstrated that political and military instability directly resulted from terrorism; however, researchers have not yet been able to establish a link between unemployment and Al-Shabab recruitment. The purpose of this study, therefore, was to understand Al-Shabab recruitment among male Kenyan young adults between the ages of 18-35. This study used social constructive framework (SCF) as a conceptual point of theory to analyze Al-Shabab recruitment and why some Kenyan young adults do while others do not join the terrorist organization. The method used was qualitative narrative study which produced data acquired from participant interviews. The data accumulated from 30 participants’ explored the reasons given for contemplating Al-Shabab membership. The data were analyzed by sorting responses to each of the 27 questions asked. The results of this study found participants shared personal experiences that conceptualized unemployment as a result of low wages, lack of education, and Kenyan government fault. This study further found that participants considered the lack of policy enforcement by the Kenyan government as reason for feelings of disenfranchisement. Kenyans and the Kenyan government may benefit from the results of this study by invoking positive social change. Recommendations to policymakers for achieving social change included communicating the enforcement of policy throughout all levels of government, endorsing transition from vocational training to employment, and prioritizing security against Al-Shabab acts of terrorism after serving Kenyan interests.