Somalia And Survival In The Shadow Of The Global Economy \

Date: Feb, 2003
ODID Working Paper No. 100
Author(s): William Reno (Northwestern University)

This study examines the capabilities of self-determination movements in Somalia after the collapse of a central state to explain the variable capacities of groups to provide stable orders and understand why leaders of these movements choose particular strategies. The primary factors shaping these strategies and capabilities include (1) the nature and longevity of prewar local elite relations with the central authority of the collapsing state, (2) the social organization of prewar and wartime informal economies in localities, (3) the capacity of local authorities to control, and in some cases, resist efforts of outsiders to mediate conflict, and (4) the capacity of local authorities to regulate commercial transactions with the rest of the world. This study shows that some movements of self-determination in post state collapse environments like Somalia are capable of creating stable polities, but that this accomplishment rests on using social control over wealth and commerce to keep resources to discipline agents who otherwise have an incentive to engage in predation or disrupt this political consolidation.

ODID Author(s)