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Announcing The Loop’s first-ever Best Blog prize

We extend our congratulations to Reginald MJ Oduor on winning the inaugural Loop Best Blog Prize for his piece How elections stifle democracy in Kenya.

On 12 October 2020, we proudly unveiled our blogsite, The Loop. As its published content flourished and its readership grew, the Loop team embarked on a mission to recognise the dedication of its diligent authors.

The Loop Best Blog PrizeTheir aim was to spotlight articles that bore particular relevance to current events, to honour pieces that were poised to influence political thought or opinion, and to showcase those resonating beyond academe. With these objectives in mind, The Loop's Best Blog Prize was established.

The £500 prize, which is awarded annually to the strongest blog piece in political science or related fields, brings well-deserved recognition to the work of our scholarly community, and provides great opportunity to re-publicise the highest-quality work published on The Loop.

After careful deliberation and a rigorous scoring process, the jury has chosen to award the inaugural prize to Reginald Oduor's contribution to the Loop's thriving 🦋 Science of Democracy series.

In the winning piece, Reginald encourages political theorists to disentangle themselves from the idea that democracy and elections are inextricably bound together. Through this, he seeks to promote the pursuit of genuine citizen participation in Kenya and other postcolonial states in Africa.

Read the full story of the creation of the prize on The Loop, as told by Managing Editor Kate Hawkins.

Our winner

Reginald Oduor

Reginald is Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Nairobi, where he also obtained his PhD in political philosophy. He gained a BEd in Arts and an MA in Philosophy, both from Kenyatta University. He is the first person with total visual disability to be appointed to a substantive teaching position in a public university in Kenya.

He is sole editor of Africa Beyond Liberal Democracy: In Search of Context-Relevant Models of Democracy for the Twenty-First Century (Lexington 2022). Reginald is also lead editor of Odera Oruka in the Twenty-First Century, RVP 2018.

He was founding Editor-in-Chief of the New Series of Thought and Practice: A Journal of the Philosophical Association of Kenya.

His research interests include political philosophy, African philosophy, philosophy of technology, the politics of knowledge production, ethics, disability rights, and philosophy of religion.


From our jury

In their laudatory comments, the jury offered the following:

 We wish to honour Reginald MJ Odour’s unique challenge to Western political thought. He argues, powerfully and clearly, that assumptions about democratic processes remain deeply colonialist, presuming that good governance relies on individualism and grows from contests between opposing views. Reginald challenges the presumed centrality of elections. He makes us understand that democracy can instead grow from consultation and consensus – and that, in Kenya, elections actually undermine democracy.

Albrecht Sonntag, EJ Graff and Alexandra Segerberg, 2022 Prize Jury

Explore the two shortlisted articles


25 August 2023
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