chapter  10
19 Pages

Somalia, fragmented hybrid governance and inclusive development

WithEric Herring, Latif Ismail, Aoife McCullough, Muhyadin Saed

This chapter considers the hybrid and fragmented nature of governance in Somalia. We treat hybridity as a feature common to all political systems – albeit to different degrees. By hybrid governance, we mean a mix of “traditional” and “modern” systems of political authority. By fragmented, we mean that those involved in governing do not have agreed authority relations nor agreed means of settling disputes over those authority relations. We explore ways in which more coherent governance can be achieved. Governance systems in Somalia do not incorporate strong institutional design and there is disagreement about the legitimacy of transnational governance. In this context, we use the experience of accountability programmes, funded by the UK government, to examine ways in which international actors can contribute to improved coherence. We argue that it is possible to work with non-state actors to increase coherence between non-state and state actors as a means of promoting inclusive development. We use the examples of Al-Shabaab, elders, business leaders, religious leaders and informal settlement gatekeepers to demonstrate our argument. The chapter illustrates the value of taking an agnostic approach on whether hybridity in governance should be promoted or resisted. As our empirical material shows, hybrid governance can have negative and positive implications for accountability and inclusive development, and so a more nuanced and fine-grained approach is preferable to being simply for or against hybrid governance.