Theorizing Somali Society: Hope, Transformation and Development

Research output: Book/ReportAnthologyResearchpeer-review


Theorizing embeds an ideological terrain where a variety of social conundrums are consciously observed, reflected on, shared, tested, and discussed and debated in the public domain. It measures the scope of our understanding pertinent of to our own worldview as well as interprets meaningfully the factors inherent to those views. A project of this nature domesticates the theoretical assumptions of the Somali people viewed from their own local perspectives and responds to the Westernized, single axis mode of problematizing everything Somali. Viewed from another angle, it embraces the continental yearning for indigenously theorizing the African social milieu because, as Lindfors (2001:3) submits, “Bearers of a culture are better equipped to interpret that culture than aliens who have experienced its realities only vicariously.” Lindfors convinces that “Those who share a writer’s background can more readily comprehend the full implications of his message” (2001:3).

Through this new process of theoretical localization, the aim is not to discredit the old but to minimize the absence of the Somali version but by putting in perspective an indigenous framework that suits the interpretation of the local reality within the locus of theorization presented from the fountain of the local intellectual. Therefore, in our endeavor to engage with local theorists and the reflections of their thought, we discuss the works of a few of them who contributed to comment on social realities politically, culturally, academically, literarily or in any other form. The scholarly pieces compiled in this volume aim at to repudiate
the misplaced notion of a Somalia or an Africa often exemplified as being short of theory formation or thought creation in the quest for its understanding of the transformations taking places among the society at the national level and on diverse subjects.

These multivariate transformations, as theorized by Somali writers, scholars and traditional intellectuals, both male and female, in different disciplines include political science, anthropology, literature, sociology, history, linguistics and a host of other fields. They provide us with appropriate insights to not just access the intellectual perceptions of the theorists discussed but by extension broaden the analytical and critical domain of their works as well as widen, if only even a little, the scope of our knowledge-base by appreciating the reinvention or rediscovery of our intellectual being through the image of our local theorists.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherAalborg Universitetsforlag
Number of pages300
Publication statusIn preparation - 2020


  • Social theory
  • Political theory
  • Historical transformations
  • Horn of Africa
  • Somalia

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Theorizing Somali Society: Hope, Transformation and Development'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this