Somalia has consistently come first out of 177 countries in the Fund for Peace’s Failed States Index. Since the collapse of Siad Barre’s authoritarian regime in 1991, Somalia has been completely devoid of a central state authority and is characterized by violence, piracy, and a rise in Islamist extremism. Multiple peace conferences have been organised over the past two decades, but all attempts at establishing peace have repeatedly failed.
However, the situation on the ground is more complex than the grim picture portrayed in the media. Somalia’s economy has been flourishing in spite of the absence of state structures and regulations. Informal forms of organisation have also emerged in order to establish a fragile stability at a local level. Moreover, the secessionist region of Somaliland is often cited as a successful case of local peacebuilding with the business community and civil organisations playing a significant role in restoring peace, stability, and democracy.