I’ve gone on record here at NOL as stating that one of the big problems facing advocates of individual liberty today is the failure of the international system to recognize calls for autonomy from sub-state actors, and that one of the best ways to do this is by counterintuitively incorporating that new autonomy into the international system in some way (you can do this by admitting such regions into the UN and other IGOs, or by admitting such regions into suprastate organizations like the United States or the European Union).
Mary Harper, a journalist writing for the BBC, has a new piece up that suggests I may be entirely wrong in my approach for a more individualistic and peaceful world:
The differences between Somalia and Somaliland raise interesting questions about recognition.
Somalia is a fully recognised country. Billions of dollars have been spent and many lives lost trying to restore a country devastated by more than a quarter of a century of conflict.
There has been some progress but there are no signs of full stability returning any time soon.
Somaliland is not recognised and does not receive much outside help. But it has built itself up from the devastation of civil war.
I first visited the territory in the early 1990s, when the capital Hargeisa had been reduced to rubble. When I returned in 2011, as I stood on a hill above the city, I was astonished is to see a whole new Hargeisa below me.
With the international gaze so firmly fixed on Mogadishu, it is unlikely Somaliland will be recognised in the near future – but that may be a blessing in disguise.
Maybe, but Somaliland’s plight could be a whole lot better, too. Imagine, for example, Somaliland joining the EU…