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Regional Dimensions of Somali Piracy and Militant Islamism: Anthropological and Econometric Evidence

  • Singh Currun

    ()

    (International Institute of Social Studies, Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands)

  • Bedi Arjun Singh

    (International Institute of Social Studies, Erasmus University Rotterdam and Georgetown University, Kortenaerkade 12, 2518 AX, The Hague, The Netherlands)

This paper argues for a sub-regional approach to Somali piracy and militant Islamism, departing from prevailing state-centric mindsets and practices. The first section presents an anthropology that explains why piracy and Islamism emerged where they did when they did. It elaborates the geographically distinct cultures of law and livelihood that enabled each phenomenon to emerge only in particular sub-regions. Drawing on diverse factors including xeer (clan-based law), sharia (Islamic law), and practices of nomadic pastoralism (e.g., livestock raiding), the paper proposes a regional lens for the analysis of Somali crime and governance. The next section takes up this regional lens and specifies a statistical model for the incidence of piracy by sub-state region from 1993 to 2011, identifying the effect of Islamist rule on piracy. In all, the paper contends (a) that Somali political and criminal phenomena be disaggregated by region; and (b) that pirates and Islamists, contrary to mainstream discourse, are antagonists.

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Article provided by De Gruyter in its journal Peace Economics, Peace Science, and Public Policy.

Volume (Year): 19 (2013)
Issue (Month): 3 (December)
Pages: 369-380

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Handle: RePEc:bpj:pepspp:v:19:y:2013:i:3:p:369-380:n:7
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  1. Sarah Percy & Anja Shortland, 2010. "The Business of Piracy in Somalia," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1033, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  2. Anja Shortland & Federico Varese, 2012. "The Business of Pirate Protection," Economics of Security Working Paper Series 75, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  3. Singh, C. & Bedi, A.S., 2012. "‘War on piracy’: the conflation of Somali piracy with terrorism in discourse, tactic and law," ISS Working Papers - General Series 543, International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam (ISS), The Hague.
  4. Anja Shortland & Marc Vothknecht, 2011. "Combating "Maritime Terrorism" off the Coast of Somalia," Economics of Security Working Paper Series 47, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  5. de Groot, Olaf J. & Rablen, Matthew D. & Shortland, Anja, 2011. "Gov-Aargh-Nance – “Even Criminals Need Law And Order”," NEPS Working Papers 7/2011, Network of European Peace Scientists.
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