Richards, R (2020) Fragility within Stability: the state, the clan and resilience in Somaliland. Third World Quarterly. ISSN 0143-6597

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Fragility within Stability The State the Clan and Political Resilience in Somaliland.pdf - Accepted Version
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Even in the context of a relatively flourishing state, fragility can be an enduring feature of a political system, particularly in the case of recently established or unrecognised states. This article examines the nature of statebuilding in a specific context to question the assumption that forms of hybrid governance or pre-existing forms of governance are a necessary evil be tolerated but which needs ultimately to be overcome during statebuilding. It does this by adopting the language of resilience and focusing on the case of Somaliland to highlight the role of clan governance as a mechanism of political resilience and as a means of promoting the flexibility required for statebuilding. Yet, at the same time, the process of statebuilding often involves formalising governance and limiting the role of traditional social-political forms of governance such as clans, ignoring their role in legitimating and stabilizing the political system. However, as this article argues, stability and fragility are inextricably linked; while the clan system has been an important force in stabilizing the state, it has also become a pressure point for the state's latent fragility. By contextualising fragility and stability within the language of resilience, though, this symbiotic relationship can be better analysed.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is the accepted author manuscript (AAM). The final published version (version of record) is available online via Taylor & Francis at; - please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.
Uncontrolled Keywords: statebuilding, resilience, fragile states, hybrid governance, Somaliland
Subjects: J Political Science > JF Political institutions (General)
J Political Science > JZ International relations
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Social, Political and Global Studies
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 21 Feb 2020 09:17
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2021 01:30

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