Somalia is a war-torn country which has been perceived as a security problem threatening not only the security of its own population, but also regional and international security. This thesis studies five international actors and their engagement in Somalia. Their perspectives on security are explored and the coherence in their policies is discussed. The actors chosen for the study are the African Union (AU), the United Nations (UN), the United States, the European Union (EU) and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD).
The thesis argues that actors’ security perspectives are similar. To a large extent, they pursue the same goals inside Somalia, they give significance to the employment of the same measures, and in this process they secure the same referent objects. Actors are united in their support to institution building, and their policies seem centred on securing the state. However, in spite of having similar perspectives, they do not seem able to develop coherent policies. This is especially evident when looking at the AU and UN strategic reviews which both reflect on future missions in Somalia without coming up with a joint suggestion for the future, or a solution to current challenges for the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). One important reason for this is that actors’ self-interests prove decisive when burdens are to be shared. Although numerous coordinating bodies have been established, actors are unsatisfied with the results. From a more critical perspective, it is also possible to argue that coherence will be lacking as long as the Somalis are not provided with sufficient ‘local ownership’.
The thesis uses theory from security studies as a basis for posing the research question. When exploring the answer I draw upon various theories which can inform the study; theory on state building, peace building and theory of change. To answer the research question, key informants were interviewed in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and in Nairobi, Kenya. Literature, in the form of official documents, mission descriptions, news articles and former research, has also been consulted to triangulate the data collected during fieldwork.