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Content

1. Introduction

2. The Nature of Nation State Failure and Collapse
2.1 Definition of Failed State
2.2 Decline of political Goods
2.3 Definition of Collapsed State

3. Conflict Process
3.1 Pre- 1991 Period
3.2 Post- 1991 Period
3.3 Foreign Intervention
3.4 Post- Foreign Intervention Period

4. Conclusion

5. Bibliography

1. Introduction

Nation-states are more numerous than they were half a century ago. In 1919 there were fifty-nine nation-states. In 1950 that number climbed up to sixty-nine. A decade later, after much of Africa gained independence, the number of nation-states reached ninety. The constant increase of independences in Africa, Asia and the Oceanic territories in addition to the implosion of the Soviet Union, have brought the total number of nation states in 2002 up to 192. Given these explosive numbers, the indigenous fragility of many of the new states and the inherent navigational dangers of the post Cold War economic and political surroundings, the possibility of failure among some of these new nation-states remains ever present.[1] Because they can no longer provide positive political goods to their citizens, nation-states fail. The government respectively the nation-state itself becomes illegitimate. At the moment only a few of the worlds nation-states are categorized as failed or collapsed. In spite of that, several dozen are weak and walking at the edge of failure. The aftermath of 9/11 led to the assumption that failed states harbour nonstate actors like warlords and terrorists which makes it necessary to understand the drivers and dynamics of nation state failure for the war on terrorism.[2]

This paper is an attempt to analyze which factors have led to the crisis of state collapse in Somalia and why does state collapse continue to be the order of the day?

The first part of the paper is supposed to give an overview of Rotberg’s classification of state failure and state collapse. It will provide some general definitions and presents the indicators of the above mentioned terms.

The second part examines the Somali situation of collapsed state mostly in a chronological order. In a conclusion at the end, the question of prolonged state collapse in Somalia will be summarized.

2. The Nature of Nation State Failure and Collapse

Rotberg’s findings on indicators and characteristics of nation state failure and collapse will be used as theoretical background to give a better understanding on the case of Somalia latter on.

2.1 Definition of Failed State

Following Rotberg’s definition: “failed states are tense, deeply conflicted, dangerous, and bitterly contested by warring factions. In most failed states, government troops battle armed revolts led by one or more rivals. Official authorities in failed states sometimes face two or more insurgencies, varieties of civil unrest, differing degrees of communal discontent, and a plethora of dissent directed at the state and at groups within the state”[3].

It is not the enormous amount of violence characterizing a failed state, but the persistence of that violence. In addition, failed states lack control of their borders and parts of the states territory. One way to find out about the dimension of state failure is to inspect the influence and power, governmental authorities actually posses over the capital, rural towns, waterways, roads or other strategic points.[4] Other criterions in the case of state failure are the oppression, extortion and harassment of most citizens while favouring a small elite. Usually when this governmental abuse is performed, weak states turn in the direction of failure.[5] Not only the uprising of governmental oppression is an indicator but also the increase of criminal violence, thus lawlessness becomes more obvious.[6]

2.2 Decline of political Goods

The purpose of a nation state is to provide political goods to its citizens within its borders.[7] The delivery of political goods follows an order of priority.

The most essential is the distribution of security, above all human security. In general, this requires methods and techniques, that combined, form a prevailing body of law, security of property, unimpeachable contracts and a functioning judicial system.[8]

Only if the supply of security is granted, the disposal of other political goods becomes possible and reasonable.[9]

Another important political good includes the free, open and full participation in politics and the political process, along with fundamental civil and human rights. Last but not least, these goods involve health care, education, infrastructure, economic opportunities, communication networks and much more. Together they build a frame of indicators by which modern nation-states may be classified as strong, weak or failed.[10]

For the case of failed states, they are incapable of sustaining security for their population. Moreover these states embody weak and defective institutions mostly used to bother citizens. An additional indicator for failed states implies the ruined infrastructure. The health and educational system have either been privatized or slowly but surely vanished into thin air. Furthermore, failed states only provide entrepreneurial opportunities to a minority of privileged rulers while the majority starves. This supports a high level of corruption also allowing the same people over and over again to gain profits. One more indicator of state failure is presented by the dropping of real national and per capita levels of the GDP in combination with the rise of inflation. This is caused by the ruling elite, who makes demands of the central bank and prints money. At the end of state failure the regional currency decays and other international currencies undertake its place.[11] Extraordinary circumstances like climatic disasters, natural catastrophes in addition to the economic chaos and the disability of the state can lead to food scarcity, widespread hunger or even starvation. This in turn leads to migration and displacement of citizens in failed state nations.[12] If the nation state lacks a basic legitimacy it is also failed. Thus, if the ruling elite is perceived as only working for themselves and their dependants, their legitimacy and consequently the states legitimacy goes astray.[13]

[...]


[1] See Rotberg, Robert (2003): Failed States, Collapsed States, Weak States: Causes and Indicators, in: Rotberg, Robert (ed.): State Failure and State Weakness in a Time of Terror, Washington, D.C., Brookings Institution Press, p. 2.

[2] See Rotberg, Robert (2002): The New Nature of Nation-State Failure, in: Washington Quarterly, Summer 2002, p. 85.

[3] Rotberg, Robert (2004): The Failure and Collapse of Nation-States: Breakdown, Prevention, and Repair, in: Rotberg, Robert (ed.): When States Fail – Causes and Consequences, Princeton, Princeton University Press, p. 5

[4] See ibid., p. 5-6

[5] See Rotberg, Robert (2002): The New Nature of Nation-State Failure, in: Washington Quarterly, Summer 2002, p. 86-87.

[6] See Rotberg, Robert (2004): The Failure and Collapse of Nation-States: Breakdown, Prevention, and Repair, in: Rotberg, Robert (ed.): When States Fail – Causes and Consequences, Princeton, Princeton University Press, p. 6

[7] See Rotberg, Robert (2002): The New Nature of Nation-State Failure, in: Washington Quarterly, Summer 2002, p. 87.

[8] See Rotberg, Robert (2003): Failed States, Collapsed States, Weak States: Causes and Indicators, in: Rotberg, Robert (ed.): State Failure and State Weakness in a Time of Terror, Washington, D.C., Brookings Institution Press, p. 3.

[9] See ibid.

[10] See Rotberg, Robert (2004): The Failure and Collapse of Nation-States: Breakdown, Prevention, and Repair, in: Rotberg, Robert (ed.): When States Fail – Causes and Consequences, Princeton, Princeton University Press, p. 2-4

[11] See Rotberg, Robert (2002): The New Nature of Nation-State Failure, in: Washington Quarterly, Summer 2002, p. 88-89.

[12] See Rotberg, Robert (2003): Failed States, Collapsed States, Weak States: Causes and Indicators, in: Rotberg, Robert (ed.): State Failure and State Weakness in a Time of Terror, Washington, D.C., Brookings Institution Press, p. 8.

[13] See Rotberg, Robert (2004): The Failure and Collapse of Nation-States: Breakdown, Prevention, and Repair, in: Rotberg, Robert (ed.): When States Fail – Causes and Consequences, Princeton, Princeton University Press, p. 2-4.

Details

Pages
19
Year
2006
ISBN (eBook)
9783638595629
File size
526 KB
Language
English
Catalog Number
v66622
Institution / College
University of Potsdam – Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaftliche Fakultät
Grade
2,3
Tags
Somalia Model Collapsed State Failure Crisis Conflict Management

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Title: Somalia - A Model for Collapsed State