Why did the Somali state collapse? How is it possible for a country, which is so ethnically homogenous to be so divided? These questions have undoubtedly generated as many answers as the number of analysts, researchers and writers who have tried to grapple with them. Dr Abdirachid Ismail argues that contrary to the conventional explanations such as tribalism, dictatorship, corruption or the role of external powers, the collapse of the Somali State is rooted in culture. Starting with a re-interpretation of culture, the author interrogates the recent history of the Somalis, from colonization to civil war and the final collapse of their State and proffers a way forward.
Abdirachid M. Ismail holds a degree in Culture and Communication and a PhD in Linguistics from the Institut National des Langues et Cultures Orientales (Inalco) in Paris. He is a Senior lecturer and researcher at the University of Djibouti. He is also the Vice-Chair of the think-tank, the Independent Research Institute of the Horn of Africa (IRICA), which was established in Djibouti in 2016. He has published in many peer-reviewed academic journals and is also the author of a historical and literary evaluation of the poetry of Elmi Bodheri, one of the most famous Somali poets. The book is published in both Somali and French as Cilmi Boodheri, Jacaylkii taamka ahaa (2016) and ‘Elmi Bodheri, L’histoire d’un amour absolu (2017) respectively.