Imagining the Nation, crafting the State: the politics of nationalism and decolonisation in Somalia (1940-60)
Locatelli, Francesca; Dorman, Sara; Dritsas, Lawrence; Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
The thesis offers a first-hand historically informed research on the trajectory of the
making of the post-colonial state in Somalia (1940-60). It does so by investigating
the interplay between the emergence and diffusion of national movements following
the defeat of the Italians in 1941 and the establishment of a British Military
Administration, and the process of decolonisation through a 10-year UN trusteeship
to Italy in 1950. It examines the extent to which the features of Somali nationalism
were affected/shaped by the institutional framework established by the UN mandate.
The central argument of the thesis is that the imposition of the UN trusteeship, rather
than enabling democratization, led to a 'verticalisation' of Somali nationalism and
created a highly restrictive political space.
Based on a combination of archival and oral sources, the thesis explores the
socioeconomic context and possibilities of the wartime. It argues that Somali
nationalism developed an efficient and inclusive message that successfully engaged
in dialogue with the masses in the 1940s. However, the protraction of the UN debate
and the extension of the military administration caused the radicalisation of conflicts
among different groups. The imposition of self-government and democratization
through the trusteeship system led to the establishment of a highly centralised and
fixed institutional framework. Within this context, not only nationalism came to lose
its original horizontal and inclusive political line, but national politics were reduced
to zero-sum competition to access power and power structures. Ultimately, this
exclusive, autocratic and distorted version of the nation-state negatively affected the
process of unification of Somalia and Somaliland.
By exploring the political trajectory leading to independence and unification,
the thesis enhances a broader understanding of the development of post-colonial
politics in Somalia. It contributes to specific discussions that centred on the features
of the colonial legacy, on the effects of state and nation building, and on the
consolidation of a clan-based discourse in post-colonial politics.
Somalia; nationalism; decolonisation
The University of Edinburgh
Annalisa Urbano, La Lega dei Giovani Somali e L'Amministrazione Fiduciaria Italiana (1948-60), (Tesi di Laurea, Unversitā di Bologna, 2005).
Type of publication|
Thesis or Dissertation; Doctoral; PhD Doctor of Philosophy
Edinburgh - University of Edinburgh
Added to C-A: 2022-11-21;09:01:51|
© Connecting-Africa 2004-2023 | Last update: Friday, April 14, 2023 |