Somalia: Economy Without State

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Indiana University Press, 2003 - 206 pages

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.


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User Review  - thewalkinggirl - LibraryThing

Argues that despite political, social, and environmental instability, the Somali society and economy have survived. The author focuses on the Somali borderlands adjacent to Kenya, comparing that ... Read full review


Introduction to a stateless economy
A land of livestock
The destruction of ruralurban relations
Tough choices
Boom times in a bust state
Life goes
Somalia in a wider context

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About the author (2003)

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 Kenya

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