- This case study of the emerging Somaliland Republic pro- vides a natural experiment that sheds some useful light on the theory of state-building. It shows that the Hobbesian Leviathan is not the only path available for controlling vio- lence and building up a peaceful state. It suggests that a Lockean "horizontal social contract" model may be a viable solution in some circumstances, for "breaking up" a state of anarchy, using the expression coined by Hirshleifer (1995).
In Somaliland, one observes a separation of the power to control violence, which belongs to the clans’ elders, on the one hand, and the power to tax and to produce some of the public goods that a modern state is expected to provide, on the other hand. Among other things, this study thus shows the benefit that political economists can gain from using the work of the social anthropologists for under- standing the political economy of developing countries.