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Somaliland’s Political Culture: Challenges to democracy

Social Research and Development Institute – SORADI
The political crisis produced by the stalled elections in 2009 led to some soul searching about Somaliland’s political culture. In this paper Haroon Ahmed Yusuf reflects on the historic and contemporary relationship between ‘traditional’ and ‘modern’ politics. His analysis suggests that the distinction is a somewhat false one, that clan politics inevitably infuses modern politics. He suggests that there is a need for a collective response by politicians, the private sector and civil society to resolve Somaliland’s governance challenges, and that the progressive thinkers pushing for a democratization of the political system need to do so in way that involves the public.

Haroon Yusuf


Haroon Ahmed Yusuf is currently the Executive Director of Social Research & Development Institute (SORA DI), as well as, an independent Consultant. He has over twenty years of experience in designing and managing development programmes in Somalia and Somaliland in pastoralist livelihoods, peace building, governance and institutional development. He holds a degree in Agricultural Sciences from Washington State University and held senior positions in international NGOs for many years, including ActionAid