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Friday, September 12, 2014

Khat, Governance and Political Identity among Diaspora Returnees to Somaliland

 P Hansen - Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 2013 - Taylor & Francis
Abstract : 
This article explores the return of the Western Somaliland diaspora to the independent yet internationally unrecognised Republic of Somaliland.
It focuses on one particular group of returnees, a relatively well-educated group of ‘professionals’, who position themselves as modern political subjects through a critique of the mild stimulant khat which is consumed daily by the large majority of Somaliland adult males. The paper shows how the unregulated and widespread consumption of khat is used by ‘professionals’ to pinpoint the shortcomings of the political leadership and to present themselves as more legitimate political leaders of Somaliland. Moreover, khat is used by ‘professionals’ to disqualify consumers as legitimate political subjects and citizens of Somaliland, as it nurtures clan identities and leads to passivity—seen as incompatible with the ideals of the nation-state.

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