Much analysis of statebuilding focuses on dissecting specific projects and attempting to identify what has gone ’wrong’ in states such as Afghanistan and Iraq. What draws less attention is what has gone ’right’ in non-interventionist statebuilding projects within ‘unrecognized’ states.
By examining this model in more depth a more successful model of statebuilding emerges in which the end goal of modern democracy and good governance are more likely to be realized. Indeed ‘states-within-states’ such as Somaliland where external intervention in the statebuilding process is largely absent can provide vital new lessons.
By Rebecca Richards
Traditional Governance And The Modern State In Somaliland
University of Lancaster, UK
Published by Ashgate Publishing limited
Much analysis of statebuilding focuses on dissecting specific projects and attempting to identify what has gone ’wrong’ in states such as Afghanistan and Iraq. What draws less attention is what has gone ’right’ in non-interventionist statebuilding projects within ‘unrecognized’ states. By examining this model in more depth a more successful model of statebuilding emerges in which the end goal of modern democracy and good governance are more likely to be realized. Indeed ‘states-within-states’ such as Somaliland where external intervention in the statebuilding process is largely absent can provide vital new lessons. Somaliland is a functioning democratic political entity in northwestern Somalia which declared its independence from the troubled south in 1991 and then embarked on an ambitious project to create a democratic government and successful state in the post-conflict environment. The leaders and the people of Somaliland have since succeeded not only in maintaining peace and stability, but also in building the institutions of government and the foundations for democracy that have led to a succession of elections, peaceful transfers of power and a consolidation of democratization. The resulting state of Somaliland is widely hailed as a beacon of success within a politically turbulent region and provides a useful framework for successful statebuilding projects throughout the world.
Rebecca Richards earned her PhD in International Relations from the University of Bristol in 2009. She has lectured at the University of Bristol, the University of the West of England, the University of East Anglia and the University of Lancaster. Her work focuses on statebuilding in Somaliland, specifically focusing on the utilization of the clan and traditional authority in post-conflict stabilization in the territory and in the facilitation and stabilization of the statebuilding process. She also works more broadly on critical interpretations of statebuilding, unrecognized states, and state failure.
’This book provides a wide-ranging and accessible analysis of contemporary state-building in Somaliland. The institutional and democratic gains that have been made are all the more noteworthy because they have been secured without international support or recognition. While invaluable to the area specialist, because of its challenge to conventional wisdom, the book is highly recommended for students and scholars of state-building more generally.’
Mark Duffield, University of Bristol, UK
’This book provides a theoretically sophisticated and empirically rich answer to the question how did Somaliland do it? Its fascinating and original exploration of hybrid government, and the ways in which Somaliland reconciled domestic needs and external demands, makes it a must-read for anyone interested not only in unrecognized states but also in state-building and state formation more generally.’
Nina Caspersen, University of York, UK
‘… valuable for theoretical and regional specialists alike, showing a side the region often unseen and bridging the gap in literature between the traditional and the modern, much like what is happening on the ground in Somaliland.’
African Studies Quarterly
Table of Contents
My thanks go to the numerous people who have helped and guided me throughout the process of writing this, from the proposal stage to completion. It is impossible to mention everyone by name, but I would like to acknowledge the support provided by family, friends, academics, organizations and many many individuals.
Firstly, I would like to thank Professor Mark Duffield, who has consistently provided invaluable advice, comments, critiques and seemingly endless support. Thanks also to Vanessa Pupavac and Martin Gainsborough for comments on earlier drafts; to Adam Morton for his continued support; to Berit Bliesemann de Guevarra, Nina Caspersen, Ian Spears and Stuart Gordon for pushing me to think further, and to Will Reno, I.M. Lewis and especially Mark Bradbury for all of their assistance and guidance.
In Somaliland I would like to give thanks to everyone at the Academy for Peace and development, especially Mohammed gees, Bobe Yusuf Duale Nassir Osman Sheikh Hassan and Abdi Aw Rabaax. A special thank you goes to Mohammed Hassan Gani for all of his guidance, insight and special ambushing skills. Their support and assistance were very much unexpected but overwhelmingly accepted. Thanks also need to go to all the men of the Somaliland Guurti. They called me the ‘walking contradiction’ at first but accepted me as one of their own at the end. Special thanks at the Guurti must go to Abdullahi Habane and his staff for all of their assistance and document retrievals. I would also like to thank Ulf Terlinden and Genti Miho for everything.
Finally, unquantifiable thanks must go to my family and friends for their patience, understanding and support. And to Robert – I could not have done this without you.
- The UNIQUE Case For The International Recognition Of Somaliland
- The World Can Learn From How Somaliland Overcame Militias
- Somaliland: The Little Country That Could By David Shinn
- Somaliland Is A Beacon Of Democracy In An Unstable Region
- Masuuliyiinta Xidh-Xidhan Iyo Dareemada Dhagarta Xambaarsan Ee Laga Soo Werinayo Dhinaca Madaxtooyada
- KOIGI: Acknowledge Somaliland To Cure Festering Wound On Africa