Somalia

Somalia : Economy without State

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Description

In the wake of the collapse of the Somali government in 1991, a "second" or "informal" economy based on trans-border trade and smuggling is thriving. While focusing primarily on pastoral and agricultural markets, Peter D. Little demonstrates that the Somalis are resilient and opportunistic and that they use their limited resources effectively. While it is true that many Somalis live in the shadow of brutal warlords and lack access to basic health care and education, Little focuses on those who have managed to carve out a productive means of making ends meet under difficult conditions and emphasizes the role of civic culture even when government no longer exists. Exploring questions such as, Does statelessness necessarily mean anarchy and disorder? Do money, international trade, and investment survive without a state? Do pastoralists care about development and social improvement? This book describes the complexity of the Somali situation in the light of international terrorism.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 224 pages
  • 134 x 214 x 20mm | 299.37g
  • Indiana University Press
  • Bloomington, IN, United States
  • English
  • 0253216486
  • 9780253216489
  • 1,450,207

Review quote

"Little's thorough, clearly written, and well-organized book is a treat for scholars.... Highly recommended." Choice, May 2004" Little (anthropology, Univ. of Kentucky) shows how since 1991, Somalia has adapted to a freewheeling, stateless capitalism. As in other collapsed African states, the borders between war and peace, official and unofficial, and legal and illegal are fuzzy, especially for pastoralists. Moreover, like Terrance Ranger (The Invention of Tribalism in Zimbabwe, 1985), Little sees ethnicity and clanism as created, manifested, combined, and reconstituted in struggles for political and economic benefits. In the 1990s, the UN and allied parties contributed to the proliferation of clan and subclan by elevating their significance in allocating resources. In some instances, to increase power disguised militia leaders or warlords became elders and their followers clans. Little's thorough, clearly written, and well organized book is a treat for scholars. His study combines an economic anthropology of Somalian herding and trading communities; explanations of how people survive in failed states and who wins and who loses; how people organize their financial transactions without a central bank; the growth of telecommunications facilities and financial stability amid a collapsed state; how conflict contributes to the decline of major urban areas; and how all these have been affected by the US-led war on terror. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper division undergraduate through professional collections.E. W. Nafziger, Kansas State University, Choice, may 2004" Little (anthropology, Univ. of Kentucky) shows how since 1991, Somalia has adapted to a freewheeling, stateless capitalism. As in other collapsed African states, the borders between war and peace, official and unofficial, and legal and illegal are fuzzy, especially for pastoralists. Moreover, like Terrance Ranger (The Invention of Tribalism in Zimbabwe, 1985), Little sees ethnicity and clanism as created, manifested, combined, and reconstituted in struggles for political and economic benefits. In the 1990s, the UN and allied parties contributed to the proliferation of clan and subclan by elevating their significance in allocating resources. In some instances, to increase power disguised militia leaders or warlords became elders and their followers clans. Little's thorough, clearly written, and well organized book is a treat for scholars. His study combines an economic anthropology of Somalian herding and trading communities; explanations of how people survive in failed states and who wins and who loses; how people organize their financial transactions without a central bank; the growth of telecommunications facilities and financial stability amid a collapsed state; how conflict contributes to the decline of major urban areas; and how all these have been affected by the US-led war on terror. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper division undergraduate through professional collections.E. W. Nafziger, Kansas State University, Choice, may 2004" "Little's thorough, clearly written, and well-organized book is a treat for scholars.... Highly recommended." Choice, May 2004"show more

About Peter D. Little

Peter D. Little is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Kentucky. He is author of The Elusive Granary: Herder, Farmer, and State in Northern Kenyashow more

Table of contents

Preliminary Table of Contents: Acknowledgments1. Introduction to a Stateless Economy2. Land of Livestock3. The Destruction of Rural-Urban Relations4. Tough Choices5. Boom Times in a Bust State6. Life Goes On7. Conclusions: Somalia in a Wider ContextEpilogue: In the Aftermath of September 11thReferencesshow more

Rating details

9 ratings
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