© 2017

State Building and National Identity Reconstruction in the Horn of Africa

  • Redie Bereketeab

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xv
  2. Context and Concepts

  3. Post-Secession State Building: Somaliland, Somalia, Sudan and South Sudan

  4. Reconfiguration of National Identity in Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia and Somaliland

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 119-119
    2. Abdurahman Abdullahi (Baadiyow)
      Pages 121-143
    3. Hamed Omer Hawi
      Pages 165-185
    4. Faiz Omar Mohammad Jamie
      Pages 211-224
    5. Redie Bereketeab
      Pages 225-235
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 237-246

About this book


This book examines post-secession and post-transition state building in Somaliland, Somalia, South Sudan and Sudan. It explores two intimately linked, yet analytically distinct themes: state building and national identity reconstruction following secession and collapse. In Somaliland and South Sudan, rearranging the state requires a complete metamorphosis of state institutions so that they respond to the needs and interests of the people. In Sudan and Somalia, the reconfiguration of the remains of the state must address a new reality and demands on the ground. All four cases examined, although highly variable, involve conflict. Conflict defines the scope, depth and momentum of the state building and state reconstruction process. It also determines the contours and parameters of the projects to reconstitute national identity and rebuild a nation. Addressing the contested identity formation and its direct relation to state building would therefore go a long way in mitigating conflicts and state crisis.


state building national identity secession ethnic conflict transition Somalia Sudan

Editors and affiliations

  • Redie Bereketeab
    • 1
  1. 1.UppsalaSweden

About the editors

Redie Bereketeab is Associate Professor of Sociology and currently working as Senior Researcher at the Nordic Africa Institute, Sweden. He has authored several books, book chapters, and journal articles. His latest publication include Self-Determination and Secession in Africa: The Post-Colonial State (ed., 2015) and Revising the Eritrean National Liberation Movement, 1961-91 (2016).

Bibliographic information


“State Building and National Identity Reconstruction in the Horn of Africa is a collection of chapters that claim authenticity based on authorship – all authors are from the Horn of Africa and have personal experiences with the two major sub-themes of the book: State building and National Identity. Redie Bereketeab and his colleagues have stitched to together an invaluable synthesis of the constraining effects of sub-national identities on state building and its presumed consequences in terms of peace and security. This book offers in-depth country and cross-country analysis, updated materials and a comprehensive re-reading of the Horn of African politics and society and the dialectics of an often-strained relationship between the two. A must read.”  (Mohamed Salih, Professor of Politics of Development, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Netherlands)<

“This collection offers a penetrating analysis of the challenges to modern state building in the Horn of Africa.” (Peter Woodward, Professor Emeritus, University of Reading, UK)