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Anatomy of a State Collapse. Somalia, the Cold War and the era of Siyad Barré

©2011 Hausarbeit (Hauptseminar) 19 Seiten


“Self-Government now” had been the outspoken declaration of many African leaders in the aftermath of second world war. The broader historical context opened a window for African countries to achieve statehood and new self-determination independent from war ridden European colonial powers. At the Horn of Africa and the neighbouring regions, similarly to the overall trend on the continent, countries became independent. Ethiopia gained first home rule in 1941, Somalia 1960 during the so called year of Africa, Sudan 1956 and Kenya in 1963.

Yet, the new right of self-governance jointly with the difficult colonial heritage brought numerous new problems to African societies. Leaders faced new challenges to transform their territories to progressive and prosperous nation states bringing African countries modernity. However, many of the territories given independence found their way into state failure. As Collier (2007) points out in his book „The bottom billion“ that global poverty is actually falling quite rapidly for about 80% of the world. The real crisis is to be found in a group of about 50 failing states, whose problems challenge traditional approaches to reduce poverty.

He argues that 50 failed states pose the central challenge of the developing world in the twenty-first century. On that account the phenomenon of failed states needs considerable investigation effort by scholars. One especially extreme case of state failure is Somalia. It is this African country, which had become the epitome of a failed state, such frequently quoted, mentioned and discussed in literature like hardly any other. Somalia attained an unknown level of media coverage when the US-led mission UNOSOM in 1992 delivered food and aid to Somalia culminating in the shot down of US Helicopters over Mogadishu by troops of General Mohamed Farrah Aideed, which led to an immediate withdrawal of US troops in October 1993.


ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Paperback)
482 KB
Institution / Hochschule
Universität Konstanz – Department: Politics
2017 (September)
Somalia Africa cold war failed state siyad barre collapse

Titel: Anatomy of a State Collapse. Somalia, the Cold War and the era of Siyad Barré