Economy without State

Peter D. Little


No rights

James Currey



Amaury Talbot Prize Winner
Does statelessness necessarily mean anarchy and disorder?
Clan elders, religious leaders and businessmen have worked together to provide stability and security in large parts of Somalia. Urban centres continue to suffer violence, political chaos and economic disruption.
Do money, international trade and investment survive without a state?
Somalia has been without a state, a Ministry of Finance, or a central bank, but the Somali Shilling was more stable during the second half of the 1990s than during the 1980s. Economic agreements with transnational firms and sovereign states go ahead.
Do town-dwellers fare as well as pastoralists? With the collapse of the state, herders and traders have benefited from reduced restrictions on movement and there is a booming unofficial export and import trade. Settled populations have fared less well.
Do pastoralists care about development and social improvement?
Throughout the Horn western-funded development projects have had disastrous results. Nevertheless the Somalis have selectively accepted certain elements; phone and internet services are surprisingly cheap.

Published in association with the International African Institute
North America: Indiana U Press


September 2003
224 pages
21.6x13.8 cm
African Issues
ISBN: 9780852558652
Format: Paperback
James Currey
Share on Facebook   Share on Twitter   Pin it   Share by Email


...a story of peoples' ingenuity, perseverance and capacity for concerted action that contrasts with the prevailing image of the region. DEVELOPMENT & CHANGE
Little's investigation of the changing fortunes of cattle-herders and traders involved in Kenyan-Somali cross-border trade is quite a masterpiece. He diligently interweaves historical, ecological, social, and political events into a comprehensive account of the Lower Jubba region's pastoral economy. - Tobias Hagmann in AFRICAN AFFAIRS
... an important book about commerce and authority in a contemporary stateless society. ... a work that should appeal to a wide readership beyond those concerned with Somalia or pastoralists. - William Reno in MODERN AFRICAN STUDIES

Also in Series