The internationally unrecognized ‘Republic of Somaliland’ presents a case in
which the domestic drivers of peace and development may be examined when
aid and other forms of international intervention are not significant variables.
The relative autonomy of its peace process offers an alternative perspective on
post-conflict transitions to that offered in the majority of the literature, which
instead problematizes either the perverse outcomes or unintended consequences
of international interventions in conflict-affected areas. The purpose of this article
is not to establish the salience of Somaliland’s relative isolation in its ability to
achieve peace and relative political order, as this is already documented in the
literature. Rather, it explores the ways in which that isolation fostered mutual
dependence between powerful political and economic actors for their survival
and prosperity. It uses a political settlements framework to probe the implications
of this dependence for western statebuilding interventions in post-conflict situations.
The findings present a challenge to orthodox assumptions about how states
transition out of conflict, particularly that: greater vertical inclusivity necessarily
strengthens a political settlement; effective Weberian institutions are a prerequisite
of an enduring peace; and that external assistance is usually necessary to end
large-scale violence in developing states or to prevent a recurrence of the conflict.
This article is Open Access.
When less was more: external assistance and the political settlement in
pdf | 107.14 KB