The Routledge Handbook of the Horn of Africa provides a comprehensive, interdisciplinary survey of contemporary research related to the Horn of Africa.

Situated at the junction of the Sahel-Saharan strip and the Arabian Peninsula, the Horn of Africa is growing in global importance due to demographic growth and the strategic importance of the Suez Canal. Divided into sections on authoritarianism and resistance, religion and politics, migration, economic integration, the military, and regimes and liberation, the contributors provide up-to-date, authoritative knowledge on the region in light of contemporary strategic concerns. The handbook investigates how political, economic, and security innovations have been implemented, sometimes with violence, by use of force or by negotiation – including ‘ethnic federalism’ in Ethiopia, independence in Eritrea and South Sudan, integration of the traditional authorities in the (neo)patrimonial administrations, Somalian Islamic Courts, the Sudanese Islamist regime, people’s movements, multilateral operations, and the construction of an architecture for regional peace and security.

Accessibly written, this handbook is an essential read for scholars, students, and policy professionals interested in the contemporary politics in the Horn of Africa.

chapter 1|5 pages

General introduction

ByJean-Nicolas Bach

part 1|103 pages

Liberation movements, separatism, and state formation

chapter 2|10 pages

Understanding the Oromo movements

From the Macha Tulama Association to the ‘Oromo Protests’
ByJan Záhořík

chapter 4|11 pages


Self-reliance, militarisation, and diaspora
ByTanja R. Müller

chapter 5|12 pages

The Sudan people's liberation movement/army

Between separation and unity
BySamson S. Wassara

chapter 6|9 pages

South Sudan after secession

The failure as a new state and the outbreak of war since 2013
ByLeben Nelson Moro

chapter 7|15 pages

Sudan's challenge in remaining a cohesive nation and state

The enactment of violent and authoritarian modalities of governance
ByAzza Ahmed Abdel Aziz, Jean-Nicolas Bach

chapter 8|10 pages


In search of national unity
ByAbdurahman Abdullahi (Baadiyow)

chapter 9|9 pages

The Somali National Movement

Engineering self-determination of Somaliland
ByFatuma Ahmed Ali

chapter 10|12 pages

Somaliland's struggle for recognition since 1991

External actors and dynamics
ByNasir M. Ali, Aleksi Ylönen

part 2|140 pages

Armed people, conflicts, and international interventions

chapter 11|12 pages

African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA)

If you want ‘to silence the guns’ by 2063, first kill the ‘white elephant’
ByPatrick Klaousen

chapter 12|11 pages

The military equation in the Horn of Africa

ByPatrick Ferras

chapter 13|12 pages

The Horn of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula

The interplay between domestic, regional, and global dynamics in the rapprochement between Ethiopia and Eritrea
ByAlexandra M. Dias

chapter 14|10 pages

Turkey's soft power experiments and dilemmas in Somalia

ByJędrzej Czerep

chapter 15|10 pages

Ugandan interference in South Sudan

ByJulie Saché-Humblot

chapter 16|8 pages

South Sudan

War, peace processes, and regional economic integration
ByCedric Barnes

chapter 17|10 pages

Military livelihoods and the political economy in South Sudan

ByNicki Kindersley

chapter 18|15 pages

Embedded uniforms

The war in Darfur, Militias, Paramilitaries, and the rise of The Rapid Support Forces
ByHassan Elhag Ali Ahmed

chapter 19|8 pages

The Ethiopian National Defence Forces since 1991

ByPatrick Ferras

chapter 20|12 pages

Recruitment strategies for Al-Shabaab in Kenya

ByFathima Azmiya Badurdeen

chapter 21|14 pages

‘What is happening now is not raiding, it's war’

The growing politicisation and militarisation of cattle-raiding among the Western Nuer and Murle during South Sudan's civil wars
ByDiana Felix da Costa, Naomi Pendle, Jérôme Tubiana

chapter 22|12 pages

The war in Tigray (2020–2021)

Dictated truths, irredentism and déjà-vu
ByMehdi Labzaé

part 3|156 pages

Authoritarianism, innovative regimes, and forms of resistance

chapter 23|14 pages

Ruling over diversity

Federalism and devolution in Ethiopia and Kenya
ByChloé Josse-Durand, Alexander Meckelburg

chapter 24|11 pages

State power and citizen agency

Reframing the power narrative in state-society relations in Ethiopia
ByHone Mandefro, Logan Cochrane

chapter 25|13 pages

Being a de facto State is not enough

Somaliland's innovative regime
ByMarkus Virgil Hoehne

chapter 26|9 pages

The politics of state-building

Regime restructuring in Mogadishu
ByFaduma Abukar Mursal

chapter 27|15 pages

The looming spectre

A history of the ‘state of emergency’ in Ethiopia, 1970s–2021
ByJon Abbink

chapter 28|10 pages

Thirty years of autocratic rule

Eritrea's President Isaias Afewerki between innovation and destruction
ByNicole Hirt

chapter 29|14 pages

Authoritarian adaptation and innovative contestation in Sudan, 2009–2019

ByClément Deshayes

chapter 30|13 pages

Hegemonic elections

Ethiopia, Sudan, Djibouti
ByJean-Nicolas Bach, Aden Omar Abdillahi

chapter 31|13 pages

Serving the regime

The state police and Kenya's electoral authoritarianism
ByKamau Wairuri

chapter 32|10 pages

Women, clan, and politics in Somalia

ByIstar Ahmed, Anisa Hajimumin

chapter 33|13 pages


The December 2018 Revolution and its aftermath
ByJean-Nicolas Bach

chapter 34|17 pages

The Sudanese ‘transition’ seen from its peripheries, 2018–2021

ByJérôme Tubiana

part 4|112 pages

Religion and religious movements – strategies and adaptation to new landscapes

chapter 35|17 pages

Political Islam in Somalia

From underground movements to the rise and continued resilience of Al Shabaab
ByMarkus Virgil Hoehne, Mohamed Husein Gaas

chapter 36|12 pages

Islam, politics, and violence on the Kenya coast

ByHassan Mwakimako, Justin Willis

chapter 37|13 pages

The ‘Islamic movement’ in Sudan

From the NIF to the December Revolution
ByAzza Mustafa M. Ahmed

chapter 38|9 pages

Islamic Law, legal hybridity, and legal practices in Sudan

ByBarbara Casciarri

chapter 39|10 pages

‘For God and my Country’

Religious lobby groups in Uganda and their role in policy making
ByAnna Fichtmüller

chapter 40|9 pages

The civil rights movement of Ethiopian Muslims in 2012

Historical grounds and driving forces
ByÉloi Ficquet

chapter 41|14 pages

The strains of ‘Pente’ politics

Evangelicals and the post-Orthodox state in Ethiopia
ByJörg Haustein, Dereje Feyissa

chapter 42|9 pages

Architectural innovation of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church

ByStéphane Ancel

chapter 43|15 pages

Singing in praise of Jesus in an ‘Islamic State’

The challenges faced by Habash pentecostalist migrants in Sudan 1
ByNetsereab Ghebremichael Andom

part 5|121 pages

People's movements

chapter 44|11 pages

The Migrant as Entrepreneur

ByHengameh Ziai

chapter 45|9 pages

Domestic labour and immigration into the Republic of Djibouti by young Ethiopians and Somalis

ByAmina Saïd Chiré, Bezunesh Tamru, Omar Mahamoud Ismael

chapter 46|10 pages

Migration within the Horn of Africa

New trends
ByAlice Corbet, Jan Záhořík

chapter 47|15 pages

Migration, asylum, and international interventions in the Horn of Africa

ByHélène Thiollet, Thibaut Jaulin

chapter 48|12 pages

Girls on the move

Changing dynamics of migration in the Horn of Africa
ByKatarzyna Grabska, Marina de Regt

chapter 49|10 pages

Migration is a personal journey

Stories of Ethiopian and Eritrean migrants as they forge their individual, and collective, journeys and existence in and out of the region
ByRania El Rajji

chapter 52|10 pages

Ethiopian diaspora and its impact on politics in Ethiopia

ByJan Záhořík, Ameyu Godesso Roro

chapter 53|12 pages

Qof Ma Dhiban

Somali orality and the delineation of power
ByHawa Y. Mire

part 6|85 pages

Connecting the Horn

chapter 55|13 pages

Water, land and Arab investments in Sudan

ByMarina Bertoncin, Andrea Pase, Stefano Turrini

chapter 56|11 pages

Demystifying the national interest

The case of building dams and dismantling the Sudanese State
ByTamer Abd Elkreem

chapter 57|11 pages

China and the African Union

Infrastructure and trade deficits in strategic transport links in the Horn of Africa
ByBenedikt Kamski, Nizar Manek

chapter 58|10 pages

China's information infrastructures in the Horn

A laboratory for experimentation?
ByIginio Gagliardone

chapter 59|11 pages

Oil and gas in East Africa

Hope and illusion
ByPatricia I. Vásquez

chapter 60|13 pages

Inconspicuous economic integration by small transnational entrepreneurs in Uganda and South Sudan

BySylvain Racaud, Bernard Calas, Charlotte Torretti