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I am a researcher and educator with expertise on the politics of crime control in Africa.

My research focusses on the policing of people belonging to marginalised, criminalised and stigmatised groups — e.g, the urban poor, protestors, sex workers and queer people — who are over-policed and under-protected by the state police. This has included examination of police abuse as well as the advocacy for, implementation and consequences of police reform and police accountability.

My work has been published in books and peer-reviewed academic journals, such as African Affairs. I have also written for popular audiences in Kenyan newspapers (Daily Nation, The Standard and The East African) and online publications such as The Elephant, African Arguments and The Conversation Africa.

Presently, I am Lecturer in Criminology at Edinburgh Napier University and a Research Fellow at the Institute of Public Policy and Governance at the Strathmore University Business School (Nairobi, Kenya).

I hold a PhD in African Studies from the University of Edinburgh, an MSc in African Studies from the University of Oxford and a Bachelor of Arts degree (Political Science and Sociology) from the University of Nairobi.

List of relevant publications:

Wairuri, K. (2022). ‘Thieves Should not Live Amongst People’: Under-Protection and Popular Support for Police Violence in Nairobi. African affairs; journal of the Royal African Society121(482), 61-79. https://doi.org/10.1093/afraf/adac006

Wairuri, K. (2022). Serving the regime: The state police and Kenya’s electoral authoritarianism. In J. Bach (Ed.), Routledge Handbook of the Horn of Africa (354-366). London: Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780429426957-34

Camminga, . B., & Wairuri, K. (2021). Merely Revealing: Transgender People and the Shift from ‘MSM’ to ‘Key Populations’ in HIV/AIDS Programming in Africa. In D. S. Ndlovu, & S. Cooper-Knock (Eds.), Liberating Comparisons? Reconsidering Comparative Approaches (98-108). York: York Tree Publications

Wairuri, K., Chemlali, A., & Ruteree, M. (2018). Urban Violence in Nakuru County, Kenya: Intersectoral Urban Violence Prevention. DIGNITY

Wairuri, K. (2018). ““Operation Sanitize Eastleigh”: Rethinking Interventions to Counter Violent Extremism.” In Mutuma Ruteere & Patrick Mutahi, Confronting violent extremism in Kenya. Debates, ideas and challenges (2018): 135-145.



Edinburgh Napier University

Research Themes

Globalisation, Harm and Social Justice

Policing and Security

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