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Durham University

Institute of Advanced Study

Past Events

The (Re)emergence of Governance in a Region of Fragile States: the Horn of Africa Seminar

4th December 2014, 09:00 to 17:00, Seminar Room, Institute of Advanced Study, Palace Green

The minimal conditions for capacity building in fragile states are
controversial, yet conventional forms of institutional development are re-emerging even in collapsed states such as Somalia. This prompts the question of why such states work at all and what can be done to facilitate the emergence or re-emergence of internationally acceptable institutions. 

This project's three research seminars are designed to assess the current state of knowledge, and explore the implications of limited statehood and stateness for the emergence of locally-appropriate and internationally acceptable forms of governance. 

The first seminar focuses on Somalia's experience and what it tells us about the minimal conditions of governance required to address under-development, and the impact of memories of repressive state-based authorities. Somalia's situation is undoubtedly extreme, yet its experience is relevant for
debates on governance more broadly. The record of the main Somali entities of Somaliland, Puntland and Benaadir/Mogadishu illustrates the range of possibilities that emerge when the institutions and processes on which institutions are seemingly depend fragment — and remain fragmented for 20 years. It also offers opportunities to explore under-researched topics such as the impact of urbanisation on conceptualisation of security. 

Attendance is by invitation only, but further information is available from Professor Alice Hills ( or Dr Jutta Bakonyi (

Contact for more information about this event.