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The Rule of Law in Fragile States: Dictatorship, Collapse, and the Politics of Religion in Post‐Colonial Somalia

Journal of Law and Society

Published online on

Abstract

["\nAbstract\nThe fate of the rule of law in fragile states rests in religious politics. Three defining periods of Somali politics illustrate this argument. First is the authoritarian regime of Mohamed Siad Barre in Somalia (1969–1991). This dictatorship used religion to rule by law. The regime executed religious leaders for disagreeing with the government's interpretation of Islam. Second is the rise of Islamic courts in Mogadishu, Somalia's capital city (1991–2007). The Islamic courts apprehended criminals, expelled warlords, and provided spaces for Somalis to resolve disputes peacefully. Third is the breakaway of Somaliland (1991–present). Somaliland has advanced Islamic legal principles to build peace and constitutional law. Taken together, these three periods demonstrate how religious politics transform law and society.\n", "Journal of Law and Society, EarlyView. "]