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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:State and Society in Crisis: What Went Wrong in Somalia?
Authors:Doornbos, Martin R.
Markakis, John
Year:1994
Periodical:Review of African Political Economy
Volume:21
Issue:59
Pages:82-88
Language:English
Geographic term:Somalia
Subjects:social structure
kinship
political systems
political stability
Politics and Government
Ethnic and Race Relations
Link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/03056249408704041
Abstract:The current Somali crisis has drawn attention to the question: 'what went wrong in the country'? An understanding of what went wrong is indispensable to the search for solutions to the present predicament. This paper explores certain paths that have already been identified and seem promising in the quest for an answer to this question. The notion of 'State and civil society in crisis' highlights the two components the paper is concerned with. The importance of kinship, i.e., clan relationships is the element highlighted in all attempts to explain Somali political behaviour. The paper argues that there has been a mismatch between a society whose traditional mode of political practice was, according to I.M. Lewis (1980), 'democratic to the point of anarchy', and the highly centralized, authoritarian, militarized and violent postcolonial State ruled by a tiny, westernized elite class. This mismatch is the essence of the Somali problem. In the struggle for positions in the State of the future the clan is the invariable controlling element. The Somali must look for inspiration into their own culture and political tradition for the solution to their problems. Bibliogr.
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