chapter  3
19 Pages

(In)securitizing Somalia’s territorial waters as an area of limited statehood

WithStephanie Carver

The theory of limited statehood has yet to be applied to the Somali maritime domain. Within the maritime space, governance has been patchy and transitory. Under such conditions, two questions arise. Firstly, can Somalia’s territorial waters be considered an area of limited statehood? And, secondly, who can provide security governance under such conditions? This chapter examines these two questions and plots the emergence of phases of governance in response to the different threats and actors present in these waters. The chapter indicates that the trajectory of security governance has been deeply fragmented, from state-led governance under the late Barre regime to the subsequent collapse of the state and the fragmentation of security governance with the rise of new power sources and more recent signs of a trend towards a mediated but consolidated statehood. The result renders Somalia’s maritime domain akin to a “commons” under conditions of limited statehood. This finding links the broader works by Ostrom and other scholars of the commons in a new interpretation.