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Peace Negotiations and Remaking Political Community in Somalia



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Mohamud, Maimuna 


What is the relationship between processes of political community formation and peace-making in Somalia? Drawing primarily on original archival research, extensive interviews and personal memoirs, I trace the ways in which representation modalities in international peace negotiations, such as the “4.5 clan formula”, engender multiple reworked articulations of political community in the aftermath of protracted civil war. Specifically, this thesis puts forward the notion that it has not just been war and state collapse that have moulded the ways in which Somalis think about political belonging and categories of inclusion and participation in the body politic; the Djibouti (2000) and the IGAD-led (2002- 4) peace processes have also had a significant, hitherto underestimated, influence on how political community is to be constituted and (re)imagined. By emphasising the role of civil society, especially clan elders, women and diaspora groups, the thesis rethinks the determinants, membership and the very processes through which political community is produced. In doing so, it shows how identity and political community are altered over time, erasing some inequities and exclusionary practices, while also erecting new barriers and (gendered) expectations. The thesis contributes to the extant literature on peace-building which has been preoccupied with reviving the state and material concerns of who gets what, therefore strongly emphasising the pivotal role of militarised elites and foreign experts. Instead, it highlights the importance of political identity and claims-making in post-conflict reconstruction as well as the agency of non-state, unarmed actors in shaping ideas and practices of belonging.





Curtis, Devon


Peacebuilding, Citizenship, Somalia, Peace negotiations, Political community, Africa, Diaspora, Horn of Africa, Women, Peace and Security Agenda


Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Awarding Institution

University of Cambridge