Kismayo, Jubaland and Mogadishu

The CRP in Somalia is the newest of all of the CRP country programme and, as such, is building its foundations rather than building on previous work. It seeks to conduct operationally relevant research to explore the political economy drivers of conflict, as well as the ideologies and conditions that encourage popular violence, and those that encourage peace and accountability.

Research is being conducted within the three CRP logics on a number of specific topics including on justice processes in different Somali contexts, the intersection of business and by understanding peace processes, humanitarianism and civicness.

The research is based primarily on qualitative methods, including:

  • Life history interviews with individuals, including businessmen, NGO workers, elders and other public authorities;
  • Observations of court cases and in-depth case studies of justice processes;
  • Key informant interviews;
  • Gathering documentary evidence including the collection of documents relating to conflict and dispute resolution, governance arrangements, photos, and other materials.

Research Projects

Somalia's Islamic Courts

Jason Mosely is a recipient of the CRP's Small Grants programme. In his research, Jason will be exploring Somalia’s Islamic Courts ‘moment’, using a political marketplace lens. The Islamic Courts were the dominant form of ‘public authority’ across most of southern Somalia for a 6-month period in 2006, the only time that a single actor has had such a position in the last thirty years. This research has direct implications for the building of state capacity and legitimacy in Somalia. 

Political Economy of Food

Dr Susanne Jaspars is a recipient of the CRP's Small Grants programme. Dr. Jaspars is currently conducting a scoping study to explore the key changes in the political economy of food over the past 10-15 years. Food is central to power in Somalia.

Her research will combine the concept of the political marketplace, with the idea of regimes of practices to examine changes in the political economy of food and the power effects of food assistance practices, in particular the interaction between them. 

Transnational Diaspora Activism

Dr. Yaniv Voller is a Conflict Research Fellow (2018). His research is titled 'Transnational Diaspora Activism and Human Security in the Homeland: The Cases of Iraqi Kurdistan, South Sudan and Somaliland'.

Transition times: political reform in Ethiopia’s Somali regional state and its regional implications

A political opening with uncertain outcomes is currently unfolding in Ethiopia’s Somali regional state (SRS). After the downfall of former regional president and violent autocrat Abdi Mohamed Omar ‘Iley’ in August 2018, Ethiopia’s Somali periphery is in the midst of an unprecedented political reform initiated by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and led by a new SRS executive. As the incoming SRS leadership attempts to steer the region to a peaceful 2020 elections, it faces vexed political obstacles linked to past human rights abuses, questions of political representation, relations with the federal government as well as neighboring political entities and ethnic groups.

This study takes stock and makes sense of these dynamics in Ethiopia’s SRS and highlights their impacts on developments in neighboring Somaliland and Somalia. This research is led by Dr. Tobias Hagmann.

Meet the Team


Alex de Waal

Prof Alex de Waal is the Research Programme Director for the CRP. He also leads the CRP research on both Somalia and South Sudan, and has written extensively on the Horn of Africa/Red Sea region.


Nisar Majid

Dr Nisar Majid manages the Somalia country programme. He has worked in and on Somalia and the Somali territories of the Horn of Africa for twenty years, in various applied research capacities, including for his PhD research which focused on transnational and diaspora aspects of the Somali. 


Khalif Abdirahman

Khalif Abdirahman is a senior field researcher. He has been involved in a number of prominent studies, for different institutions and has travelled the length and breadth of the country. 



Tobias Hagmann

Dr Tobias Hagmann is an Associate Professor at Roskile University. 



Susanne Jaspars

Dr. Susanne Jaspars is conducting research on the political economy of food in Somalia.


Alice Robinson

Alice provides project support to the CRP - Somalia team.



Small Grants and Fellows


Yaniv Voller

Dr Yaniv Voller is a 2018 Conflict Research Fellow. His research project is titled: Transnational Diaspora Activism and Human Security in the Homeland: The Cases of Iraqi Kurdistan, South Sudan and Somaliland.


Jason Mosely

Jason is the recipeint of a small grant from the Conflict Research Programme. He is conducting research on Somalia's Islamic Courts.


LSE Conflict and Civil Society Research Unit LSE_CCS

HAPPENING NOW! We are pleased to launch the new report 'Food and Power in #Somalia: Business as Usual?' with Susann… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…

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LSE Conflict and Civil Society Research Unit LSE_CCS

TONIGHT! Join us for the launch of our new report on the political economy of food. 18.00 PAN G.01, Pankhurst Hou… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…

2 days ago

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