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Legitimacy from the bottom-up: Understanding perceived legitimacy of non-state armed actors from a civilian perspective - A case study of Somalia
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Peace and Conflict Research.
2019 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Non-state armed groups are often countered by military means but non-state armed groups have in many cases proven their resilience and endurance, and they continue to challenge central governments in their efforts to build a peaceful and stable society in many post-conflict societies. We fail to understand why non-state armed actors may supersede central governments in their ability to provide effective governance structures and enjoy legitimacy. This thesis builds on the existing literature on rebel and insurgency governance and aims to explore the drivers that legitimize non-state armed actors from the perspective of the civilian population. Exploring the factors that contribute to the legitimacy of non-state armed groups reveals the local dynamics that underpin the relationship between non-state armed groups and civilians living in the areas under their control. I argue that non-state armed groups, by capitalizing on the failed expectations that civilians have towards the state, and subsequently meeting these expectations by providing essential security and public services, can achieve public legitimacy. Using the method of structured focused comparison, South-West State and Galmudug State in Somalia are compared to test the hypotheses. Fieldwork was conducted to collect data and document analysis was used. The main finding of this study is that the ability of an actor to provide services and security plays an important role when explaining variation in levels of perceived legitimacy. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. , p. 69
Keywords [en]
Legitimacy, rebel governance, political order, violence, Somalia
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-385525OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-385525DiVA, id: diva2:1324845
Subject / course
Peace and Conflict Studies
Educational program
Master Programme in Peace and Conflict Studies
Supervisors
Available from: 2019-06-18 Created: 2019-06-14 Last updated: 2019-06-18Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
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  • nn-NB
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Output format
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