Clan and Conflict: The Intersection between State Violence and Societal Violence in Somalia by Mohamed Haji Ingiriis (University of Oxford)

  • Seminar Room G, Manor Road Building Oxford, OX1 3UQ

This event is open to the public and a light lunch will be served outside the seminar room at 12.50pm.

Existing scholarship on Somalia confounds State violence with clan violence. Thus, the blurring features between the two variables have perplexed – if not puzzled – pundits and political scientists alike studying the Somali State and society. State violence carried out on clan basis and instigated by State authorities was a constant feature in Somalia during the era of the military regime of General Mohamed Siad Barre (1969-1991). What many observers tend to portray as a ‘clan conflict’ was a clanised war initiated by the State authorities well before the collapse of the regime. State violence should best be defined to the extent of the outcome, not the form and formula of the conflict. Using oral testimonies, visual evidence and ethnographic observation, and drawing from literature across social sciences, my presentation seeks to trace the persistent and perpetual Somali conflicts in which the waves and webs of violence were conceptualised through various ways. In doing so, my presentation offers an alternative understanding to the Somali conflicts. I argue that, without the precedent State violence, the clan violence would not have proliferated and became unprecedented.
 

Mohamed Haji Ingiriis is DPhil Candidate at the Faculty of History, University of Oxford. Fellow at School of Somali Studies at Mogadishu University, he is a scholar specialising in Somali Studies. He is Associate Editor for Journal of Somali Studies and Book Reviews Editor for the Journal of the Anglo-Somali Society. He is now the lead researcher at peace-building research project run by King’s College London in partnership with University of Nairobi. He is also researcher at the Varieties of Democracy, Department of Political Science, University of Gothenburg, Sweden. His first book, The Suicidal State in Somalia: The Rise and Fall of the Siad Barre Regime, 1969-1991 will be published by the University Press of America in April 2016. Ingiriis holds two masters’ degrees: an MSc from the Department of Social Sciences and Humanities at London Metropolitan University; and an M.A. at the Departments of Anthropology and History at Goldsmiths, University of London. His scholarly studies have been published in Journal of Eastern African Studies, African Renaissance and Northeast African Studies. His book reviews have appeared in African Affairs, The Journal of Modern African Studies, Africa Today, African Studies Quarterly, Canadian Journal of African Studies, and Review of African Political Economy.