Victims understanding of government through actions and communication: The case of Garissa University College terror attack (Published)
This study falls within the government communication field. In the study, we aim at exploring what citizens make of government from its actions and communication. The study was contextualized in the government actions and communication during the 2015 Garissa University College terror attack. Terrorism is violent communication aimed at discrediting the position that governments protect citizens’ lives and property. How government deals with the attackers and how it communicates to citizens who eagerly await government communication reveals something about the nature of government. Although government communicates to the citizens, studies have been silent on citizen feedback based on the messages and actions of the government. This study adopted a qualitative approach and took a hermeneutic phenomenological design where terror victims’ lived experiences were interrogated to elucidate some perceptions towards government and government communication. Three methods were used to generate data, namely: interviews, observation and document analysis. The study findings revealed that terror victims interacted with government — an interaction that revealed a government that send mixed signals on its capacity to handle the situation.