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Understanding the Somalia Conflagration: Identity, Political Islam and Peacebuilding [Paperback]

Afyare Abdi Elmi
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

4 Jun 2010
Somalia has been devastated by a US-backed Ethiopian invasion and years of civil war, and it has long been without a central government. Against this background of violence, Somali academic Afyare Abdi Elmi, attempts to explain the multiple dimensions of the conflict and find a peace-building consensus.

Somalia is a failed state and a Muslim state. This combination means the West assumes that it will become a breeding ground for extremism. The country regularly hits the headlines as a piracy hotspot. This combination of internal division and outside interference makes for an intensely hostile landscape. Elmi shows that only by addressing the problem of the statelessness in the country can the long process of peace begin. He highlights clan identities, Islam and other countries in the region as the key elements in any peace-building effort.

This unique account from an author who truly understands Somalia should be required reading for students and academics of international relations and peace / conflict studies.

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Frequently Bought Together

Understanding the Somalia Conflagration: Identity, Political Islam and Peacebuilding + Understanding Somalia and Somaliland: Culture, History and Society + Getting Somalia Wrong?: Faith and War in a Shattered State (African Arguments)
Price For All Three: £44.16

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Product details

  • Paperback: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Pluto Press (4 Jun 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0745329748
  • ISBN-13: 978-0745329741
  • Product Dimensions: 21.3 x 13.5 x 1.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 802,767 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


Elmi’s contribution is most effective when it examines the Islamic awakening and historicizing Islam. ... [the book] provides useful understanding of an important area. (CHOICE)

A timely, topically urgent and well-written book that adds much to the literature on Somali studies. It should benefit students and researchers in all areas of the social and educational sciences, and it could influence policy development in the Somali context, and by extension, perhaps other parts of Sub-Saharan Africa. (Ali A. Abdi, University of Alberta)

In this excellent, well-researched work, Elmi gets right to the heart of what makes Somalia a failed state and what are the prerequisites for sustainable peacebuilding to take root in that unfortunate war-torn country. This is a must-read for anyone concerned about the plight of the Horn of Africa and the fate of Somalia. (W. Andy Knight, Chair and Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Alberta)

To the best of my knowledge provides unequalled documentation on the actors in the drama of Somalia' (Samir Amin)

About the Author

Afyare Abdi Elmi teaches at the Department of International Affairs at Qatar University.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars It's ok 27 April 2014
Very little primary research and doesn't say anything groundbreaking. It collates existing literature rather than saying anything groundbreaking. It's a good start if you're interested in the topic.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Somali view of the conflict 15 May 2013
By Henry
This book was definitely good addition to my books on Somalia. It is a well structured Somali view of the Somalia and its neighbors. Sometimes this is very apparent for example when discussing the role of the neighboring states such as Ethiopia, Kenya and Djibouti. There are good arguments regarding the Western model of peace building. I did find some parts about the Islamist groups in Somalia somewhat naive, for example in arguing that they only fit under the NSS definition of terrorism because of its vagueness.
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
5.0 out of 5 stars Understanding the Somalia Conflagration 4 Aug 2013
By O'Barrow - Published on Amazon.com
Understanding the Somalia Conflagration is a well-written book that contributes a lot in Somali literature. The author emphasized about lot of stuffs that are practical and credible. It is easy to read and to comprehend or grasp. If you want to learn more about what happened to twenty years of statelessness, peacebuilding and reconciliation in Somalia, this book will give you a great deal of thoughtful ideas and insights about these issue. You must read it. --Salaad M. O'Barrow
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