Keyword: Fragile states


Trade makes states

Finn Stepputat

Once known as an example of state collapse, Somali territories today see a number of competing public administrations, which, as this book argues, depend on a dynamic trade sector for revenues. Riffing on Tilly’s idea that ‘war makes states,’ the authors argue instead that ‘trade makes states,’ that the facilitation and capture of commodity flows have been instrumental in making and unmaking state-projects across the Somali territories. The volume draws on multi-sited research of everyday economic life along trade corridors in Somali East Africa, including parts of Kenya and Ethiopia. It examines how government officials, informal traders, militias, local businessmen, international investors, and donors feed into systems of regulatory control in ports, at marketplaces, and along transport corridors. Contributions to the volume draw attention to the ingenuities of transnational Somali trade and the ‘politics of circulation,’ providing important insights into contemporary state formation on the margins of global supply chain capitalism.

DIIS / 2023
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