23 Nov

Discussion Meeting Thursday 23 November 2017, 12:30 - 01:30 PM GMT

Government and legitimacy in endemic crisis: experiences with authority in Somalia

AMISOM troops in Somalia

A variety of governance formations emerged in Somalia after the state collapsed in 1991. The localised rule of the warlords (1995–2007) was replaced by the insurgent state of the Islamist militia al-Shabaab (2007-12), which in turn was challenged by the internationally supported Federal Government and its regional states (2005–).

While the dynamics of the war is well documented, little is known about how ordinary Somali citizens think about the governance structure in their country. How did the attempts to establish authority affect the life of ordinary people? Which forms of authority did they consider as legitimate or illegitimate and why? And which forms of rule do they hope for in the future? This talk will present the results of a research project with Somali migrants in Kenya. It will focus on experiences with al-Shabaab and their attempts to administer the territory and people under their control.

Dr Jutta Bakonyi has 20 years’ research and work experience in the Horn of Africa. She has published on the dynamics of the state; the political economy of wars; actors and organisations of violence; social orders of violence beyond the state; and international attempts towards peace- and state-building. From 2004–05 Bakonyi worked as a conflict management expert in southern Somalia, and from 2009–12 she managed a Transitional Justice Programme in Kenya. Since October 2017 she has led the new research project ‘Security on the move: everyday security of IDPs in rapidly growing Somali cities’, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and the UK’s Department for International Development.

This event under the Armed Conflict Programme has been generously supported by US Friends of the IISS.

To RSVP, please send an email to Kevin O'Sullivan.

This event will be chaired by Dr Anastasia Voronkova, Research Fellow for Armed Conflict, IISS. It will take place in the Trafalgar Room at Arundel House, 6 Temple Place, London WC2R 2PG*.

Please join us for tea and coffee from 12pm.

*All first time visitors to Arundel House are required to provide photographic ID (Passport, European ID card or Driver's Licence) and have their photograph taken upon arrival. This will be stored on our security system to streamline access on future visits. If you would prefer that your details are not stored, please inform reception as you exit the building. Photographic ID will be required again on your next visit to IISS.


Anastasia Voronkova

Dr Anastasia Voronkova has overall responsibility for the commissioning, editing and production of the annual IISS publication The Armed Conflict Survey. She also provides direction and coordination for the Armed Conflict Database. She runs the IISS Armed Conflict Programme, established in 2015, and contributes to research and consultancy work in the field of armed conflict.

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Event details

Thursday 23 November, 12.30–1.30pm GMT
Arundel House, London
Dr Jutta Bakonyi, Associate Professor in Development and Conflict, University of Durham
Dr Anastasia Voronkova, Research Fellow for Armed Conflict, IISS