Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Global Governance and Human Security

First Advisor

Timothy M. Shaw

Second Advisor

Jane L. Parpart

Third Advisor

Adugna Lemi


Non-traditional and transnational insecurities are “new” insecurities that undermine the security of people more than the state, and affect other states and their citizens. Transnational threats manifest as intra-state armed conflicts, terrorism, organized crime, climate change effects such as drought, as well as pandemics like Ebola. The result of these threats has been massive loss of human lives, especially in the global South. Several governance institutions at the national, regional, and global levels have been put in place to address these insecurities. This dissertation examines the efficacy of one such institution, the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA), in addressing transnational security threats involving non-state actors in “fragile states.” Somalia is used as a case study. The research employs a qualitative research design. The study utilized in-depth key informant and focus group interviews with policy advisors, academics, researchers, and the Somali diaspora.

Evidence from the research suggests that prominent insecurities in Somalia such as terrorism, conflict, and organized crime are non-traditional and transnational. These insecurities are linked and interact in complex ways with the aid of globalization to create a favorable environment for continuance of transnational terrorism, conflict, organized crime and state fragility, which ultimately lead to pervasive human and state insecurity. However, APSA through the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) employs traditional, mainly military measures to address these non-traditional insecurities. As a result, APSA mechanisms have not been effective, hence the continued insecurity in Somalia and the spread of terrorism to East and Southern Africa. Therefore, the dissertation argues that there is a mismatch between APSA mechanisms and the nature of security threats that Somalia faces. Further, the ineptitude of APSA mechanisms is compounded by the multiplicity of disparate actors, both state and non-state, armed and unarmed, working in Somalia. APSA has failed to effectively coordinate these actors for it to realize its goals. As a result, these actors have undermined AMISOM’s peace and security processes along with the ability of the African Union (AU) to govern transnational security as a designated regional organization thereby, weakening the principle of subsidiarity in global security.


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