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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News

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