Contemporary states are generally presumed to be founded on the elements of nation, people, territory, and sovereignty. In the Horn of Africa however, the attempts to find a neat congruence among these elements created more problems than they solved. Leenco Lata demonstrates that conflicts within and between states tend to connect seamlessly in the region. When these conflicts are seen in the context of pressures on the state in an era of heightened globalization, it becomes obvious that the Horn needs to adopt multidimensional self-determination. In Structuring the Horn of Africa as a Common Homeland, Leenco Lata discusses the history of conflicts within and between Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia, and the Sudan, and investigates local and global contributory factors. He assesses the effectiveness of the nation-state model to forge a positive relationship between these governments and the people. Part 1 summarizes the history of self-determination and the state from the French Revolution to the post-Cold War period. Part 2 shows how the states of the Horn of Africa emerged in a highly interactive way, and how these developments continue to reverberate throughout the region, underscoring the necessity of simultaneous regional integration and the decentralization of power as an approach to conflict resolution. Motivated by a search for practical answers rather than a strict adherence to any particular theory, this significant work by a political activist provides a thorough analysis of the regions complicated and conflicting goals.
Wilfrid Laurier University Press
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