Economy without State
Peter D. Little
Distribution: Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Costa Rica, Dominica, Dominican Republic, El Salvado
Publication date: 10/30/2003
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 978-0-253-21648-9
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Amaury Talbot Prize for African Anthropology 2004; Choice Outstanding Academic Title (2005)

In the wake of the collapse of the Somali government in 1991, a "second" or "informal" economy based on trans-border trade and smuggling is thriving. While focusing primarily on pastoral and agricultural markets, Peter D. Little demonstrates that the Somalis are resilient and opportunistic and that they use their limited resources effectively. While it is true that many Somalis live in the shadow of brutal warlords and lack access to basic health care and education, Little focuses on those who have managed to carve out a productive means of making ends meet under difficult conditions and emphasizes the role of civic culture even when government no longer exists. Exploring questions such as, Does statelessness necessarily mean anarchy and disorder? Do money, international trade, and investment survive without a state? Do pastoralists care about development and social improvement? This book describes the complexity of the Somali situation in the light of international terrorism.

Author Bio

Peter D. Little is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Kentucky. He is author of The Elusive Granary: Herder, Farmer, and State in Northern Kenya


“Little's thorough, clearly written, and well-organized book is a treat for scholars. . . . Highly recommended.May 2004”
 — Choice

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Table of Contents

Preliminary Table of Contents:

1. Introduction to a Stateless Economy
2. Land of Livestock
3. The Destruction of Rural-Urban Relations
4. Tough Choices
5. Boom Times in a Bust State
6. Life Goes On
7. Conclusions: Somalia in a Wider Context
Epilogue: In the Aftermath of September 11th