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Title: Generating power : electricity provision and state formation in Somaliland
Author: Lochery, Emma
ISNI:       0000 0004 6062 2266
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2015
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The dissertation uses the lens of electricity provision to examine processes of state formation in Somaliland, an unrecognized, self-declared independent state in the northwest of the former Somali Republic. The dissertation focuses on Hargeisa, the capital city at the heart of Somaliland's state-building project. After the collapse of the Somali state in 1991, private companies arose from the ruins of Hargeisa and turned the lights back on, navigating a fragmented post-war landscape by mobilizing local connections and transnational ties. However, being dependent on the political settlement that engendered the peace necessary for business, emerging private power providers were tied into a state-building project. The dissertation analyses the resulting tensions at the heart of this project, by examining the struggle to define the role, extents and limits of an emerging state in an interconnected world. Based on interviews in Somaliland and a survey of news media and grey literature, the dissertation has three aims. First, it provides a view into how social order and service provision persist after the collapse of the state. Secondly, it investigates how patterns of provision emerging in the absence of the state shape subsequent processes of state formation. Finally, it discusses how patterns of provision affect the interaction of state-building and market-making. In order to fulfil these aims, the dissertation examines how people invest in the project of building a state, both materially and discursively. The chapters present a narrative history of the electricity sector, explaining the attempts of both private companies and the government to claim sovereignty over the market and shape statehood in their own interests. The struggles shaping Somaliland's economic order reveal the contemporary significance of transnational connections, interconnected systems of capital flows, and the rise of corporate business actors. At the same time, they underline the abiding power of social structure, local identities, and historical memory.
Supervisor: Steinberg, Jonny Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Postwar reconstruction--Africa ; East ; Nation-building--Somaliland (Secessionist government ; 1991- ) ; Electric power production--Economic aspects--Somalia ; Business enterprises--Africa ; East ; Somaliland (Secessionist government ; 1991- )--Politics and government ; Somalia--Politics and government--1991-