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State(less) Development: Somalia and New Configurations of Power
Spisak, George A.
Since 1991, the spectre of Somalia’s statelessness has haunted the inter-state system and the norm of the nation-state that has been its constitutive principle since the era of decolonization. As one instance of a wider trend that has accompanied the relative decline of the state and the emergence of new assemblages of power in the age of neoliberalism, Somalia provides a critical counterfactual for theories and practices of development that lay their foundation on the bedrock of the of the modern sovereign state’s powers and institutional configurations. The collapse of this 'normative state' poses sharply the complex challenges this presents both to institutions of global governance and the international development industry. In this article, I will use the Somali instance to reflect on the implications for development of the rupture in the mutually constitutive dynamics between state and development. While Somalia may be a particularly advanced instance of the peculiar challenges this portends, it is by no means an isolated or aberrant case. It provides, instead, a critical lens through which to examine pre-existing normative assumptions about state and development and their reconfiguration through neoliberal practices.
African studies; Development; Development Theory; Somalia; Somaliland; State Formation; State Theory; Sociology
Makki, Fouad M.
M.S., Development Sociology
Master of Science
dissertation or thesis