The Center's research on East Africa focuses on understanding the ethnic, political, and religious conflict drivers affecting the Horn of Africa and surrounding areas. Particular attention is given to clan and tribal dynamics, resource exploitation, and the implications of cultural dimensions on conflict resolution and reconciliation in the region. By contextualizing our research with the knowledge of local subject matter experts, we can generate meaningful analysis of the environment, clarifying the structure and dynamics of violent networks and examining the systems of financial and social support on which they rely.
There is cause for optimism in Somalia with a political transition underway and the al-Shabaab insurgency on the retreat, but successfully capitalizing on the current opportunities will require taking a longer view of the country's political and economic future.
Historical lineages are fundamental to the Somali clan system. Drawing upon the knowledge of Somali experts and anthropological scholarship, the East Africa project has constructed a visual map of how these lineages are perceived, linking living Somali clansmen back to Qureish.To view as a pdf, click here
Al-Shabaab’s leadership is currently divided between those who promote an extremist takfiri view of Islam, and relative moderates who simply seek power and happen to be willing to do so at the expense of the TFG. Leveraging social and political ties to isolate and reconcile these relative moderates would break the back of the insurgency by undermining significant clan support bases.
The objective of this project is to examine the piracy industry in East Africa, describing individual groups while also analyzing the root causes and enabling factors. We take data-driven approaches to understanding network structures while contextualizing the Somali pirate business model within the larger social environment.