Davidson College Professor of Political Science Ken Menkhaus discusses his recent research on Somalia; the efforts to build a stable state in this troubled Horn of Africa country, despite ongoing conflict; how the “commodification of security sector work” challenges state-building; and the connection between non-state armed actors, security, and development.
Menkhaus has extensive knowledge of these topics, having served as Special Political Advisor in the UN Operation in Somalia; as a visiting civilian professor at the US Army Peacekeeping Institute in 1994-1995; and as a visiting scholar at the US Army Strategic Studies Institute in 2011-2012. In 2004, he received a United States Institute of Peace grant for his research on armed conflict in the Horn of Africa.
In addition to his extensive academic work, Menkaus continues to do professional work in applied settings, serving as a consultant for the UN, US government, NGOs, and policy research institutes. He’s provided expert testimony on five occasions before Congressional subcommittees, and he has been interviewed by the BBC, CNN, FOX, Al Jazeera, NPR’s All Things Considered, the Voice of America, the Diane Rehm Show, and MSNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews, among other media outlets.
Menkhaus has published more than 50 articles, book chapters, and monographs, including Somalia: State Collapse and the Threat of Terrorism (2004); “Governance without Government in Somalia” in International Security (2007); and “State Fragility as Wicked Problem” in PRISM (2010).