The Enigma of Institutionalised Aid Securitisation in Somalia

Crawford School of Public Policy

Event details

PhD Seminar

Date & time

Thursday 22 February 2024


ANU Online Zoom


Speaker; Yasmin M. Hassen; Moderator: Associate Professor Grant Walton


Grant Walton

In a post 9/11 security climate, aid securitisation became an instrumental tool in shaping security, political and stability paradigms in fragile states of geostrategic importance. This dissertation critically engages with the theoretical and practical implications of aid securitisation. This thesis examines the paradox inherent in institutionalised aid securitisation to establish the extent to which institutionalised aid securitisation facilitates or contributes to insecurity and instability in Somalia and the factors that exacerbate this dynamic.

It positions aid securitisation as an enduring feature of the security, aid and development landscape in fragile states. The thesis uses securitisation theory as a lens to understand the complex interplay of the aid-security nexus in fragile states under a war on terror rubric. It challenges the perception of aid securitisation as a normative response to fragile states experiencing protracted conflict. The study does this to illustrate the impact of the promise, practice and effects of institutionalised aid securitisation across three sites of encounter: the dynamics between the centre and periphery, the political and security marketplaces, and the influence and role of the diaspora in political and security landscape. The research examines the dynamics between the normative, political and security realms and institutionalised aid securitisation to by exploring the dialectic relationship between the securitising actors and securitised subjects across the three sites.

Using twenty-six in-depth qualitative interviews conducted in Ethiopia, Kenya and Djibouti, I interrogate the ways that institutionalised aid securitisation is encountered across the three sites of encounter in Somalia. Further, the findings challenge the implications of a normative response on securitised subjects and how the negotiate and exercise their agency in this dynamic.

Bio: Arriving in Australia from Ethiopia, Yasmin possesses a deep-rooted passion for politics and international relations. With a robust academic background, Yasmin earned a Bachelor of Arts (Global), a Postgraduate Diploma in European and International Studies, and a Master of Arts (by Research) from Monash University. Additionally, she holds a Master of Diplomacy from the Australian National University (ANU). Yasmin’s PhD focuses on institutionalised aid securitisation and the complex relationship between foreign aid and terrorism in the Horn of Africa. Professionally, Yasmin has worked on diverse public policy issues (humanitarian program delivery, family violence; disability health reform; gender; youth; migration and settlement) and have a strong understanding of how to develop and implement effective policies and programs underpinned by delivering public value.

Panel Members: Associate Professor Björn Dressel (Australian National University) Associate Professor Tim Legrand (The University of Adelaide) Professor Nicolas Lemay-Hebert (Australian National University)

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