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  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The United States, its allies, and international organizations are just beginning to come to grips with the civil dimensions of "failed state" wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, the Sudans, Syria, and Yemen. In each case, it is clear that the civil dimension of the war will ultimately be as important as the military one. Any meaningful form of "victory" requires far more than defeating the current extremist threat in military terms, and reaching some temporary compromise between the major factions that divide the country. The current insurgent and other security threats exist largely because of the deep divisions within the state, the past and current failures of the government to deal with such internal divisions, and the chronic failure to meet the economic, security, and social needs of much of the nation's population. In practical terms, these failures make a given host government, other contending factions, and competing outside powers as much of a threat to each nation’s stability and future as Islamic extremists and other hostile forces. Regardless of the scale of any defeat of extremists, the other internal tensions and divisions with each country also threaten to make any such “victory” a prelude to new forms of civil war, and/or an enduring failure to cope with security, stability, recovery, and development. Any real form of victory requires a different approach to stability operations and civil-military affairs. In each case, the country the U.S. is seeking to aid failed to make the necessary economic progress and reforms to meet the needs of its people – and sharply growing population – long before the fighting began. The growth of these problems over a period of decades helped trigger the sectarian, ethnic, and other divisions that made such states vulnerable to extremism and civil conflict, and made it impossible for the government to respond effectively to crises and wars.
  • Topic: Security, War, Fragile/Failed State, ISIS, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Africa, United States, Iraq, Middle East, Yemen, Syria, Somalia, South Sudan, Sundan
  • Author: Matt Bryden
  • Publication Date: 08-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Somalia marked a milestone in September 2012 with the establishment of a new federal government that has since won the support and recognition of the international community. After more than 20 years of conflict, crisis, and statelessness and 12 years of ineffectual transitional authorities, the Somali federal government (SFG) has been widely welcomed as Somalia's first “post-transition” government. It has been greeted with such a groundswell of optimism that many observers, including British Prime Minister David Cameron, have drawn parallels with the “Arab Spring” that has transformed parts of the Middle East. It is tempting to imagine that Somalia is finally on the path to recovery.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Civil War, Development, Islam, Fragile/Failed State, Governance
  • Political Geography: Africa, Middle East, Arabia, Somalia
  • Author: Rossella Marangio
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The long-lasting Somali conflict is profoundly linked to the country's historical development and its socio-cultural specificities. The political milieu and the struggle for power in Somalia reflect the cleavage between tradition and modernity. This rift has led to a legitimacy vacuum, which has made it difficult for the warring parties to find enough common ground for a compromise. Furthermore, external influences, at both regional and international levels, have contributed to the fragmentation of the political arena, due notably to the emphasis on the use of force as the principal tool for acquiring or maintaining power. In this unfolding crisis, regional pressures and rivalries, international interventions, economic and strategic interests as well as piracy, corruption and Islamic extremism all play an interlocking role. In view of this, a new approach to the crisis is badly needed. The EU, in particular, should promote a new strategy based on three components: enhancement of social cohesion through local cooperation programmes, state-building and development.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Political Violence, Islam, Fragile/Failed State
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Somalia
  • Author: Roland Marchal
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Norwegian Centre for Conflict Resolution
  • Abstract: Somalia has long been a byword for statelessness and extreme insecurity. However, eight years of transitional rule are set to end in 2012, and expectations are rising that continued military-led stabilisation, changing regional security dynamics and efforts to rebuild the Somalia state might soon enable the country to declare an end to two decades of civil war.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Development, Islam, Fragile/Failed State, Governance
  • Political Geography: Africa, Somalia
  • Author: Markus Virgil Hoehne
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Somalia has been without effective state institutions since 1991. Over the past two decades, moderately effective state-like institutions have been rebuilt in Somaliland and Puntland in northern Somalia, but they do not enjoy international recognition and are limited in power and scope. This text concentrates on the integration of non-state actors, particularly traditional authorities, during the process of state-formation in Somaliland. Arguably, this integration has brought about a hybrid political system that functioned quite well during the first years of existence of Somaliland. Hybrid political systems are currently of great interest in various African settings, including the possibility of integrating traditional authorities into (local) government in South Sudan. These systems, however, mix modes of legitimacy of different political actors in a way that, in the long run, either undermines the democratic capabilities of modern states or seriously damages the credibility and effectiveness of traditional authorities. Thus, hybrid political systems may be a way to stabilize politics in a transitory phase (e.g., after civil war or independence) but they are not the easy way out of the dilemma that state institutions in many African states are weak, have only a very limited outreach and in many regards lack popular legitimacy.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Political Violence, Civil Society, Fragile/Failed State, Governance
  • Political Geography: Africa, Somalia
  • Author: David Axe
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: The two-decade-old conflict in Somalia has entered a new phase, which presents both a challenge and an opportunity for the United States. The elections of new U.S. and Somali presidents in late 2008 and early 2009 provide an opportunity to reframe U.S.-Somali relations. To best encourage peace in the devastated country, Washington needs a new strategy that takes into account hard-learned lessons from multiple failed U.S. interventions. The old strategy favoring military force and reflexive opposition to all Islamists should give way to one emphasizing regional diplomacy and at least tacit acceptance of a government that is capable of bringing order to Somalia.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Islam, Terrorism, Fragile/Failed State
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, Somalia
  • Author: Peter Hansen
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: This paper examines the role of the mild stimulant khat in the economic and political transformation of the independent, yet internationally unrecognized Republic of Somaliland. Rather than seeing khat as a hindrance for nation-state formation and as a developmental problem, the paper argues that khat has been important to the economic viability of Somaliland and to the formation of political practices and identities. In this sense, khat should be seen not only as a drug contributing to violence, state failure and inadequate development, but also as underpinning economic processes, political identities and societal structures that have been crucial to the formation and political success of Somaliland. The paper adds to our understanding of the links between emerging political and economic orders in a post-conflict society.
  • Topic: Economics, Peace Studies, Political Economy, Narcotics Trafficking, Fragile/Failed State
  • Political Geography: Africa, Somalia
  • Author: Nils Goede
  • Publication Date: 05-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for Development and Peace
  • Abstract: Der Report analysiert die Entscheidungsprozesse des Sicherheitsrats der Vereinten Nationen, die am 3. Dezember 1992 zu der Verabschiedung der Somalia‐Resolution 794 geführt haben. Fürdie Analyse wird der Multiple‐Streams‐Ansatz verwendet. Im Rahmen des Ansatzes warden Entscheidungssituationen als mehrdeutige Stimuli in Bezug auf Informationen, Ziele und Messkriterien betrachtet. Entscheidungen sind vor einem solchen Hintergrund oft weder rational begründbar, noch sind sie gezwungenermaßen linear‐kausal mit einem bestimmten Problem verbunden. Die Organisation ist stets mit einer hohen Anzahl von simultan auftretenden Problemen und Optionen konfrontiert und muss unter Zeitdruck bestimmen, welche Probleme und Handlungsoptionen auf die Agenda gesetzt werden und in welchen Themenbereichen eine Entscheidung ansteht. Lösungen werden hierbei zu einem bestimmten Zeitpunkt (künstlich) in Übereinstimmung mit Problemen und Akteuren gebracht und in eine Entscheidung transferiert. Die Untersuchung führt zu dem Ergebnis, dass die Verabschiedung der Resolution 794 weniger auf die tatsächliche Problemlage in Somalia zurückzuführen war als auf Dynamiken des amerikanischen Wahlkampfs und den stetigen Einsatz des VNGeneralsekretärs Boutros Boutros‐Ghali.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Political Violence, United Nations, War, Fragile/Failed State
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, Somalia