In the Shadow of a State: Self-Settlement Strategies and Informal Governance Amongst Somalis in Johannesburg

  • Zaheera JinnahEmail author


This article explores the role of informal governance and institutions in the self-settlement strategies of Somalis in South Africa. Based on 3 years of ethnographic fieldwork with Somalis in Johannesburg, this article argues that informal governance operated though kin, clan and social networks, and personal, localised relationship with state authorities and community leaders are instrumental in governing settlement. Moreover, this form of governance is located within the multiple systems of Somali social order.


Forced migration Governance Johannesburg Self-settlement Somali diaspora 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.African Centre for Migration and SocietyUniversity of the WitwatersrandJohannesburgSouth Africa
  2. 2.Centre for Refugee StudiesYork UniversityTorontoCanada

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