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State Building in Somalia in the Image of Somaliland: A Bottom-Up Approach

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“The creation of western-style government institutions has been unsuccessful in Somalia. This is a direct result of colonial administrations not laying the proper foundation for western government institutions to achieve legitimacy in a culture of clan and kinship based identity. In post conflict Somalia the top down approach to state building has been ineffective and a lack of government structure at the time of independence created an environment in which clan based fracturing of the government was inevitable. The existing clan and kinship examples of local governance replaced the central government starting in 1991 when the Somali state collapsed. Since then several examples of a bottom up approach to state building have emerged throughout Somalia. These attempts at state building have been quite successful and should be reviewed as a means for successful state creation in greater Somalia. Somaliland’s attempts at state building have proven to be comparatively successful and should be viewed as a model for successful state creation in third world or tribal type states,” argues Kenneth Upsall. Continue reading

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