Critical infrastructures as sites of conflict over state legitimacy: The case of Hargeisa Airport in Somaliland, Northern Somalia

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Abstract

This article explores how the control of critical infrastructures play an important role in legitimizing new political orders through a case study of Hargeisa Airport in Somaliland (Northern Somalia). I argue that the quest by new authorities for authority, legitimacy and independent statehood highlights state visibility and effectiveness as well as a contestation of state legitimacy at times mediated by non-state actors. For Hargeisa airport, conflicts between the state and local landowners resulted in a legitimacy struggle where the new government resorted to familiar practices of the ousted military regime, provoking criticism from sections of the public who regarded these practices as evidence of continuities with the deposed authoritarian regime.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)110-119
Number of pages10
JournalGeoforum
Volume125
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2021