Consider Somaliland: State-Building with Traditional Leaders and Institutions

Consider Somaliland: State-Building with Traditional Leaders and Institutions

by Marleen Renders


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Consider Somaliland: State-Building with Traditional Leaders and Institutions by Marleen Renders

Can ‘traditional’ leaders and institutions help to build more legitimate, accountable and effective governments in polities or ‘states’ under (re)construction? This book investigates the case of “Somaliland”, the 20-year old non-recognized state which emerged from Somalia’s conflict and state collapse. A careful analysis of Somaliland’s political history, it outlines the complex and evolving institutional and power dynamics involving clan elders, militia leaders, guerrilla movements, as well as politicians and civil servants in its emerging state structures. While showing the great potential of endogenous processes, it clearly demonstrates the complexity and the politics of those processes and the necessity to think beyond one-size-fits-all state-building formulas.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9789004218482
Publisher: Brill Academic Publishers, Inc.
Publication date: 01/27/2012
Series: African Social Studies Series , #26
Pages: 290
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.40(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Marleen C.M. Renders, Ph.D. (2006) in Political Science, Ghent University, is a research associate at the Human Rights Centre of the same University. She was Fellow at the Somaliland Academy for Peace and Development in Hargeysa and has published several articles on state formation in Somaliland. She currently lives and works in Nairobi.

Table of Contents

List of Abbreviations xi

List of Illustrations xiii

Acknowledgements xv

A Note on Somali Orthography and Transliteration xvii

Introduction: Places that do not Exist 1

A State-Making in Somaliland 2

B Data Collection 5

C Plan of the Book 9

I Challenging Received Notions of Statehood, State Failure and State-Building 13

A Defining a State: Somaliland's Claim to Statehood 15

B Failing What? 17

C Persistent Anachronisms 21

D Anachronisms as Patches for State Failure 22

E Invented Traditions and the Making of African States: A Two Way-Process 25

F State-Making Reconsidered: Bringing Politics Back in 27

G Concluding Remarks: Concepts, Discourse and Politics 29

II The Failing State. What has Clan got to do with it? 33

A The Somaliland Protectorate and the Introduction of the Modern Nation State 35

B Colonial Administration and State Building 42

C Clanship Mediated Politics in Cold War Somalia 45

D Concluding Remarks: Failed State Building? 57

III The Emergence of the Somali National Movement as a Clan-Supported Opposition Force 59

A Growing Oppositions in the Northwest 60

B Becoming Isaaq 72

C SNM Fighting in the Northwest 79

D Concluding Remarks 85

IV Clan Elders and the Forging of a Hybrid State 87

A The Role of Clan Elders in the Undoing of the SNM 87

B SNM Heartland: Clan Elders' Negotiating Power over State Resources 96

C Peace, Governance and State outside the Isaaq Heartland 104

D Conclusion 115

V "At the Centre of Peace and War": Pragmatic State Building Under the Egal Government, 1993-1997 117

A Somaliland and UNOSOM II 117

B The Airport War 126

C Regime Consolidation Via War ... and 'Traditional' Peace Making 140

D Concluding Remarks 150

VI Looking Like a Proper State 153

A The Hargeysa 'Clan Conference' and the End of Clan-Based Representation 154

B Undoing Local Governance Arrangements While Outsourcing Security and Public Order 159

C Centralising Symbolic and Material Resources 168

D Concluding Remarks 174

VII Claiming the Eastern Borderlands 177

A The Dhulbahante and Somaliland 178

B Competing State Claims 181

C Shifting Sands and Loose Ends 190

D Concluding Remarks 194

VIII Egal's Political and Institutional Tailpiece 197

A The Referendum on the Draft Constitution and the Introduction of the Multi-Party System 198

B The Opposition Sultaans 204

C Toward the First Election 211

D Conclusion 221

IX Somaliland as a Model for Building Proper States? 225

A Transitioning into the Post-Egal Era 228

B The Elections: Clan Politics Through the Back Door 236

C Somaliland after the First Round of Elections under the Multi-party System 255

D Conclusion 263

Bibliography 267

Index 283

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