Failures in Somalia
Good Governance, Political Conflict

Twenty Years of Collapse and Counting: The Cost of Failure in Somalia

Author(s): John Norris, Bronwyn Bruton
Date: September 19, 2011
Publication Type: Research Report
Research Topics: Good Governance, Political Conflict

Overview:

This paper explores the staggeringly high costs of the crises response rather than the crises prevention approach by looking at the case of Somalia. The research tries to determine, using a variety of official and unofficial sources and some educated guesswork, a reasonable estimate of the financial cost of Somali's conflict since 1991. The paper is a strong attempt in determining the money spent on Somalia by the international community, regional actors, and the Somali diaspora, regardless of the specific intentions of spending and whether these expenditures were sensible and effective or not. However, the profound lack of reliable data and the enormous variance in the economic and political standing of Somalia’s regions made it more difficult to compile necessary information.

Key Findings:

  1. Failed states are rare but incredibly expensive and disruptive especially in the case of Somalia. Figures in this study make clear that the reverberations of a state unraveling are felt well beyond specific security concerns about counter terrorism and can play out in unforeseen way. 
  2. A surprisingly wide number of actors bear these costs because no one group of actors have 'owned the crisis'. 
  3. Somalia needs the right kind of aid with smarter interventions.
  4. Failed states need comprehensive and locally appropriate solutions.

Related Publications

Maritime Piracy 2014

The State of Maritime Piracy 2014

Written by Conor Seyle, Matthew R. Walje, Kellie Brandt, Peter Kerins, Megan Matthews, Tyler Maybee on June 10, 2015

This report is the fifth in a series by Oceans Beyond Piracy with support from OEF Research.These reports annually seek to assess the cost of maritime piracy - both economic and human - to the international community.

Read more
Social evolution

Social evolution in the shadow of asymmetrical relatedness

Written by Peter D. Taylor on April 29, 2015

The persistence of altruism and spite remains an enduring problem of social evolution.

Read more
Renewable Energy In Somalia

Powering Progress: The Potential Of Renewable Energy In Somalia

Written by Jami Nelson Nuñez on March 4, 2015

This report describes the evolving landscape of energy in the country and outlines the burden of limited electricity services and extremely high tariffs on households, businesses, and the environment.

Read more
Private Sector and Business role in atrocity crimes

The Role of Business in the Responsibility to Protect

Written by One Earth Future on December 19, 2014

This policy brief is based on “The Role of Business in the Responsibility to Protect,” a chapter which appeared in The Responsibility to Protect and the Third Pillar: Legitimacy and Operationalization.

Read more
L. Heger in Journal of Peace Research

Votes and violence: Pursuing terrorism while navigating politics

Written by Lindsay Heger on December 5, 2014

Many of the world’s most infamous terrorist organizations demonstrate clear political aptitude, maintaining highly successful political parties while simultaneously carrying out terrorist attacks.

Read more
A Gap Exists in Research and Implementation

A Gap Exists! (But it is Smaller and More Specific Than You Think)

Written by Chris Cyr, Lindsay Heger on November 7, 2014

In recent decades, many who are involved in international relations and foreign policy have bemoaned the increasing divide between what practitioners do and the issues scholars research.

Read more
Competition and Cooperation in Classroom

Cooperation and Competition in Large Classrooms

Written by Joseph Kim, Peter Taylor, Pat Barclay on October 23, 2014

Instructors of large classes often face challenges with student motivation. The classroom incentive structure – grades, extra credit, and instructor and peer acknowledgement – may shape student motivations to engage in their studies.

Read more

Why Govern? The Strategic, Functional, and Normative Logics of Global Governance

Written by Conor Seyle, Amitav Acharya, Blake Berger, Goueun Lee, Kate Tennis on September 28, 2014

Global governance is one of the most critical subjects in international relations scholarship and policymaking today.

Read more

Pages