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Post-conflict statecraft, land governance and exclusion in Hargeisa, Somaliland


Year published: 2023
Categories: Journal Article
URL Link: https://doi.org/10.1177/09562478231190283

Author / Authors:

  • Tahir, A. I.


Environment and Urbanization, 35(2), 508-526. https://doi.org/10.1177/09562478231190283


This paper explores urban land governance in Hargeisa as a critical site of Somaliland’s post-conflict statecraft. Two key issues make this study imperative. First, the current research on Somaliland focuses on the central authority(1) with scant attention to the organization and functioning of the urban state and its effect for the urban poor, thus obscuring the importance of the conurbation as a site for statecraft. Second, Somaliland’s post-conflict statecraft is marked by inconsistencies, previously unexplored. While the creation of the subnational state is characterized as bottom-up, with its origins in community-led peacebuilding, its governance practices are characterized by exclusionary top-down procedures imported from colonial and postcolonial periods. Based on interviews with key informants, archival research and document analysis, I historicize these layers of the state-building processes. I argue that the top-down approach of post-conflict land governance, a critical site of statecraft, marginalizes the disadvantaged by creating bureaucracies that favour the affluent.


  • Journal Article