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Fighting for the Plenty: The Banana Trade in Southern Somalia


  • Christian Webersik


In this paper it is argued that economic interests by multinational corporations, local businessmen and faction leaders are significant elements in the perpetuation of civil violence in Somalia. This study examines the banana trade regime in southern Somalia in relation to conflict over export levies at the national level and farm land and water at the regional level. Small but influential groups come to have an economic interest in prolonged conflict. This viewpoint affirms that it can be misleading to associate war with complete collapse or breakdown of an economy—although it may certainly skew the development of an economy. Two further points arise in respect of such analyses. First, are the initial causes of violent conflict necessarily the same as the factors perpetuating this situation? Second, to what extent are more conventional explanations of conflict in Africa, such as ethnicity, religion and economic inequality, of relevance in this case?

Suggested Citation

  • Christian Webersik, 2005. "Fighting for the Plenty: The Banana Trade in Southern Somalia," Oxford Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(1), pages 81-97.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:oxdevs:v:33:y:2005:i:1:p:81-97
    DOI: 10.1080/13600810500099683

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    Cited by:

    1. Lisa Calvano, 2008. "Multinational Corporations and Local Communities: A Critical Analysis of Conflict," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 82(4), pages 793-805, November.

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