Inheriting failure: an exploratory study of post-colonial Somalia
Simmons, Joseph T.
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] Throughout its history, Somalia has experienced varying degrees of instability that has created an environment of chaos, war-induced famine, and given birth to terrorist groups like Al Shabaab. The legacy of colonization by Great Britain and Italy adversely affected the development of a functioning Somali state following its independence, subsequent military dictatorship, and the eventual collapse of central government in 1991. This thesis uses historical case studies, with a theoretical model proposed by Joel S. Migdal, to explain why post-colonial states (such as Somalia) often have had difficulty in establishing stability and the rule of law. Migdal’s model holds that success hinges on the distribution of social control between state institutions and civil society as they compete to create the rules that govern behavior. The northern region of Somaliland, drawing on the British approach of indirect rule, was able to reestablish stability by fostering cooperation between clan leaders and state institutions. The southern region of Somalia, influenced by the Italian authoritarian approach of direct rule, has repeatedly failed to establish cooperation between clan society and the state. This thesis provides recommendations for U.S. intervention and military operations based on the patterns and variations in stability often found in post-colonial states.
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