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Hoehne, Markus Virgil
Year of Publication: 
Series/Report no.: 
DIIS Working Paper No. 2011:18
Somalia has been without effective state institutions since 1991. Over the past two decades, moderately effective state-like institutions have been rebuilt in Somaliland and Puntland in northern Somalia, but they do not enjoy international recognition and are limited in power and scope. This text concentrates on the integration of non-state actors, particularly traditional authorities, during the process of state-formation in Somaliland. Arguably, this integration has brought about a hybrid political system that functioned quite well during the first years of existence of Somaliland. Hybrid political systems are currently of great interest in various African settings, including the possibility of integrating traditional authorities into (local) government in South Sudan. These systems, however, mix modes of legitimacy of different political actors in a way that, in the long run, either undermines the democratic capabilities of modern states or seriously damages the credibility and effectiveness of traditional authorities. Thus, hybrid political systems may be a way to stabilize politics in a transitory phase (e.g., after civil war or independence) but they are not the easy way out of the dilemma that state institutions in many African states are weak, have only a very limited outreach and in many regards lack popular legitimacy.
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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