The Birth of a Democracy: Homegrown Bicameralism in Somaliland

Jean-Paul Azam


Somaliland has recently developed an unexpected democracy after seceding from chaos-ridden Somalia, while turning its port of Berbera into a success story, competing successfully with the long established ones in the Horn of Africa. A simple game-theoretic model is used to explain why the home-grown bicameral democratic system that emerged in Somaliland is a key factor in controlling violence and providing the required security along the transport infrastructure linking Berbera to neighboring landlocked Ethiopia. The model shows that redistributing some of the fiscal resources levied on this trade is necessary for sustaining this efficient political equilibrium.


peace; democracy; Somaliland;

Codes JEL

  • N77: Africa • Oceania
  • O17: Formal and Informal Sectors • Shadow Economy • Institutional Arrangements
  • O55: Africa
  • P48: Political Economy • Legal Institutions • Property Rights • Natural Resources • Energy • Environment • Regional Studies


Jean-Paul Azam, « The Birth of a Democracy: Homegrown Bicameralism in Somaliland », TSE Working Paper, n° 13-406, mai 2013.

Publié dans

Peace Economics, Peace Science and Public Policy, vol. 20, n° 2, avril 2014, p. 245–266