Somalia : illicit economies, criminal networks and the downfall of the Somali state
Brooks, Spencer Hugh.
Thesis (M.A.)--Georgetown University, 2010.; Includes bibliographical references.; Text (Electronic thesis) in PDF format. Somalia has existed for nearly twenty years without a stable government. Attempts by external powers to intervene internally to provide security or build a state have failed. An approach to establish a state which uses the functioning informal markets and institutions that have survived is needed, as opposed to an external development model based on misconceptions of Somali statehood. The failure of Somalia as a traditional state based on modern interpretations of statehood has resulted in a breakdown of most formal structures of commerce and government. In this environment, Somalia may appear to the external observer as a modern interpretation of a Hobbesian state of nature, where there exists only chaos and anarchy. However, a type of order does reign in Somalia, it revolves around the informal and illicit economies that have existed and supported people since before the fall of the Barre government. These various economies included illegal weapons transfers, parallel currency exchanges, informal commodity exchange markets, the illegal sale of food and medical aid, human trafficking and the drug trade. The Somali case provides an opportunity to evaluate the role that illicit economies played in the breakdown of the Somali state; ongoing illegal sales and transfers of weapons and goods continue to fuel conflict and enable illicit economies functioning in and around the Horn of Africa. This paper will examine how illicit and parallel economies, encouraged through aid and development intervention played a role in the downfall of the Somali state, and failed to bring peace, security and progress to Somalia.
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