Stabilization, Extraversions and Political Settlements in Somalia


Author: Tobias Hagmann

This report highlights four findings echoing existing literature, but also offers new insights, including the observation of recurrent negative relationship between external stabilization attempts and peaceful political settlements. Secondly, the continuation of some forms of extraversions including an appropriation of external resources, flight, and trickery, which have led statebuildinger to favour the creation of formal institutions as a prerequisite, rather than an outcome of actual state formation. Thirdly, the selective use of recognition as foreign policy mechanism to bestow resources on particular constituencies at particular times, thereby fueling political competition, rewarding abuse and ineffective governance and encouraging the establishment of ‘briefcase organisations’. Lastly, the extraversion of foreign aid and external stabilization has been so long-standing and entrenched that donors and the range of external actors aiming to influence political developments in Somalia have become an integral part of these processes.

Policy points:
• Statebuilding policies and programmes should consider changing their incentive structures, for example, instead of rewarding elite promises, aid could be given to actors, institutions and processes with a proven track record of creating social contracts and public goods.
• Formal and informal institutions which might become partners for joint statebuilding interventions need to be identified.