The main purpose with this proposed project is to explore the relationship between ‘clan’, ‘clan politics’ and militant Islamist groups in Somalia.
Through this research, I intend to increase the understanding of militant Islamist groups’ opportunities and limitations to operate and mobilize local support within a political landscape of a weak central state, dominated by tribal structures. The dynamic between militant Islamist groups and the representatives or elites of the Somali clans has so far only been treated briefly by scholars focusing on Somalia. In depth research on how recent militant Islamist groups have been able to draw support from specific clan groups, while being opposed by others, is lacking. This dynamic will be vital in order to predict the level of opportunity for militant Islamists within the emerging clan-centered federal system in Somalia.
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