Political Settlements and State Formation in Somaliland

When the breakaway region of a troubled country achieves considerably more peace, stability and prosperity than its parent state, a closer look is essential. How has the internationally unrecognised ‘Republic of Somaliland’ managed to escape Somalia’s cycle of economic malaise and political violence? 

Somaliland made its declaration of self-determination in 1991. What followed as it absented itself from the civil wars that continued to rage in the rest of Somalia is examined by this DLP-commissioned study. 

The study finds that the most enduring institutions earn their legitimacy from home-grown political and social processes, which are largely shaped by the leadership process. What made Somaliland’s leadership ‘different’? One key fact was the knowledge that, given Somaliland’s unrecognised status, there was no funding to be had from international actors. But also – so frequently a finding of DLP research – quality secondary education had created an elite with shared networks and developmental values.

 

Researcher: Sarah Phillips (University of Sydney)

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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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