Political Culture in Somalia
Tracing Paths to Peace & Conflict

By Mary-Jane Fox
August 2000
Uppsala University Press
ISBN: 91-506-1446-0
178 pages, 6 1/2" x 9 1/2"
$36.50 Paper Original

The purpose of this doctoral dissertation is to apply the political culture concept to and then examine its historical implications for the variant conditions of peace and conflict in contemporary Somalia. Within peace and conflict research, political culture is a concept which has not been examined as a possible contributing factor to peace or conflict, and part of this is due to a restricted understanding of it. By relying on existing literature in the field to expand on this concept, it is then applied to the case of Somalia, which currently is divided into three separate entities with three distinct outcomes. These outcomes are observable as the unrecognized state of Somaliland in the northwest, the autonomous Puntland State of Somalia in the northeast, and the southern region of Somalia, particularly the Mogadishu area. The former two are relatively peaceful, economically growing and centrally ruled polities, while the latter region experiences chronic violent conflict, economic uncertainty, and warlord politics. These three distinct outcomes suggest varying political cultural legacies. Indicators for the concept are established by utilizing political culture "themes" which have been observed in the relevant literature. Beginning in the early 1800s, a longitudinal study of the development of separate trends in political culture in Somalia is undertaken.

Uppsala University Department of Peace & Conflict Research, Report No. 56

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