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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The machinations of the Majerteen Sultans: Somali pirates of the late nineteenth century?
Author:Smith, Nicholas W.S.
Year:2015
Periodical:Journal of Eastern African Studies (ISSN 1753-1063)
Volume:9
Issue:1
Pages:20-34
Language:English
Geographic term:Somalia
Subjects:piracy
1800-1899
Link:https://doi.org/10.1080/17531055.2014.970602
Abstract:This article explores the history of Somali piracy in the nineteenth century. Focusing on the Majerteen Sultans, and especially the late nineteenth century rulers Uthman Mahmud Yusuf and Yusuf?Ali, who ruled over the coast of contemporary Puntland, the author argues that Majerteen rulers used piracy as a political tool to consolidate their power over the Somali littoral in the face of colonial conquest. They used piracy to goad the European powers into signing treaties of mutual protection and channelled European patronage to buttress their rule over the Majerteen population. In contrast to the literature which frames piracy in terms of state collapse and maritime anarchy, the author argues that piracy was a diplomatic strategy to exploit inter-imperial competition. As well as offering a historical perspective on Somali piracy, the article takes a comparative approach, drawing on theories about non-state actors and violence to bring interdisciplinary and historical insight to bear on the topic of the Somali piracy. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]
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