Research Paper 23 - Political Settlements and State Formation: The Case of Somaliland

Why did the civil wars in Somaliland end while Somalia’s continued? This paper asks why large-scale violence was resolved in the internationally unrecognised ‘Republic of Somaliland’ but not in the rest of Somalia.

The case of Somaliland offers insights into why some domestic power struggles – including violent ones – build the foundations for relative political order while others perpetuate cycles of economic malaise and political violence.

Key points:

Legitimate institutions are those born through local political and social processes, this paper argues, and these are largely shaped through the leadership process. Among its findings are the importance in Somaliland of:

  • a domestically-funded peace process that motivated strategic symbiosis among elites;
  • a lack of predetermined institutional endpoints;
  • Somalilanders' conscious desire for an enclave of peace within the surrounding turmoil;
  • quality secondary education.

About DLP

The Developmental Leadership Program (DLP) is an international research initiative that explores how leadership, power and political processes drive or block successful development.

DLP focuses on the crucial role of home-grown leaderships and coalitions in forging legitimate political settlements and institutions that promote developmental outcomes, such as sustainable growth, political stability and inclusive social development.

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2016 Adrian Leftwich Memorial Lecture

Thursday 27th October 2016

The annual lecture in memory of DLP's founding Director of Research, Adrian Leftwich, will be given this year by Nic van de Walle, Professor of International Studies at Cornell University, on Wednesday, 16 November in Manchester.

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Research evidence presented to International Development Committee

Tuesday 25th October 2016

DLP Research Fellow Suda Perera has presented findings from her research into armed groups and political inclusion in the Democratic Republic of Congo to the UK Parliament's International Development Committee.

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