The contribution of Somali diaspora in Denmark to Peacebuilding in Somalia through Multi-Track Diplomacy

Sylvester Tabe Arrey, Francisco Javier Ullán de la Rosa


The paper assesses the ways the Somali diaspora in Denmark is contributing to peacebuilding in their home country through what is known in peace studies as Multi-Track Diplomacy. It starts by defining the concepts of peacebuilding and Multi-track Diplomacy, showing how the latter works as an instrument for the former. The paper then describes and analyzes how, through a varied array of activities that include all tracks of diplomacy as classified by the Diamond&McDonald model, members of Danish diaspora function as interface agents between their home and host societies helping to build the conditions for a stable peace. The article also analyzes how the diplomacy tracks carried out by the Somali-Danish diaspora, as well as the extent of their reach, are shaped by the particular characteristics of this group vis-à-vis other Somali diasporic communities: namely, its small size and relatively high levels of integration and acculturation into the Danish host society.  



Somalia, Diaspora, Danish-Somalis; Peacebuilding; Multi-Track Diplomacy.

Full Text:



Abdile, M. (2010). Diaspora and their role in the homeland conflicts and peacebuilding: The case of Somali diaspora. University of Jyväskylä. Diaspeace Working Paper, 7, 1-32.

Abdile, M. (2014). The Somali diaspora in conflict and peace-building: The Peace Initiative Programme. In L. Laakso & P. Hautaniemi (Eds.), Diaspora, development and peacemaking in the Horn of Africa (pp. 77-97). Zed Books.

Abdile, M., & Pirkkalainen, P. (2011). Homeland perception and recognition of the diaspora engagement: The case of the Somali diaspora. Nordic Journal of African Studies, 20(1), 48-70.

Abdullahi, A. (2015). The Islamic movement in Somalia. Adonis & Abbey.

Abdulle, H. (2018). Somali women and political participation: A case study of diaspora in Minneapolis and London [Doctoral dissertation, University of Sussex]. ProQuest Dissertations Publishing.

Abshir, M. O. (2019). Somali diaspora contribution to Somalia's development. ACADEMICIA, 10(5), 1206-1215.

Bastug, M. F. (2020). Senses of Belonging and Identity within North American Turkish Diaspora in the post-9/11 Era. American Journal of Qualitative Research, 4(1), 1-15.

Beauchemin, C., & González-Ferrer, A. (2011). Sampling international migrants with origin-based snowballing methods. Demographic Research 25, 103-134.

Benson, J., Heger, L., Sorensen, L., & Wise, A. (2015). Somali diaspora investment survey report. One Earth Future Foundation.

Bertelsen, P. (2015). Danish preventive measures and de-radicalization strategies: The Aarhus model. Panorama: Insights into Asian and European Affairs, 1(241), 241-253.

Bond, H. (2019). A qualitative study exploring the acculturation processes among well-adapted Somali females in Denmar [Master's thesis, Bergen University]. Bergen Open Research Archive.

Boutros-Ghali, B. (1992). An agenda for peace: Preventive diplomacy, peacemaking and peace-keeping. International Relations, 11(3), 201-218.

Bulut, E., & Mohamed, A. A. (2018). Remittances and poverty reduction in Somalia. Fiscaoeconomia, 2(3), 1-37.

Bundgaard, S. (2018). “It will be a Jensen or a Hansen that gets it”: Senses of belonging and perceptions of discrimination among Danish-Somalis in Aarhus from c. 1990 to 2017 [Master's thesis, Oslo University]. DUO Research Archive.

Cassanelli, L., & Abdikadir, F. S. (2008). Somalia: Education in transition. Bildhaan: An International Journal of Somali Studies, 7(1), 91-125.

Chama, B. (2017). Diaspora media role in conflict and peacebuilding from the perspectives of Somali diaspora in Canada. In O. Ogunyemi (Ed.), Media, diaspora and conflict (pp. 53-68). Springer.

Chambers, S. (2017). Somalis in the twin cities and Columbus: Immigrant incorporation in new destinations. Temple University Press.

Chevreau, O. (2019). Federalism & post-conflict statebuilding: The case of Somalia [Doctoral dissertation, Bradford University]. Bradford Scholars Publications.

Coleman, P. T. (2003). Characteristics of protracted, intractable conflict. Peace & Conflict, 9(1), 1-37.

Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. (2015). Denmark-Somalia partnership policy 2015-2017.

Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. (2018). Peace and stabilisation programme Horn of Africa 2018-2022.

Danstrøm, M., Kleist, N., & Nyberg, N. (2015). Somali and Afghan diaspora associations in development and relief cooperation, Danish Institute for International Studies.

Davidson, W., & Montville, J. (1981). Foreign policy according to Freud. Foreign Policy, 45, 145-157.

Diamond, L., & McDonald, J. (1991). Multi-track diplomacy: A systems guide and analysis. Iowa Peace Institute.

Diamond, L., & McDonald, J. (1996). Multi-track diplomacy: A systems approach to peace. Kumarian Press.

Elmi, M. A. (2019). ICT, the Somali diaspora and the stabilization of a failed state [Doctoral dissertation, University of Cape Town]. Open UCT.

Eno, M., Eno, O., & Mweseli, M. (2015). The revival of higher education in Somalia. Journal of Somali Studies, 2(1/2), 9-45.

Farah, A. O. (2020). Strategies of overcoming precarity: The case of Somali transnational community ties, spaces and links in the United Arab Emirates. In J. Heinsen, M. B. Jorgensen, & M. O. Jorgensen (Eds.), Coercive geographies (pp. 124-147). Brill.

Fredsted, E. (2005). Politeness in Denmark: Getting to the point. In L. Hickey & M. Stewart (Eds.), Politeness in Europe (pp. 159-173). Multilingual Matters Ltd.

Galipo, A. (2018). Return migration and nation building in Africa: Reframing the Somali diaspora. Routledge.

Galtung, J. (1975). Peace, war and defense essays. Ejlers.

Gonnelli, M. (2018). The italophone Somali diaspora and social change in Somalia [Doctoral dissertation, University of Duisburg‐Essen]. Duisburg-Essen Publications Online.

Hammond, L., Awad, M., Dagane, A., Hansen, P., Horst, C., Menkhaus, K., & Obare, L. (2011). Cash and compassion: The role of the Somali diaspora in relief, development and peace-building. United Nations Development Program.

Hassan, A. S. (2019). Denmark’s de-radicalisation programme for returning foreign terrorist fighters. Counter Terrorist Trends and Analyses, 11(3), 13-16.

Haugerudbraaten, H. (1998). Peacebuilding: Six dimensions and two concepts. African Security Review, 7(6), 17-26.

Heap, N. (1983). Building peace. Self & Society, 11(1), 35-38.

Hellström, A., & Tawat, M. (2020). Trouble in the homeland: How cultural identity and welfare politics merge in contemporary Danish and Swedish politics. In O. C. Norocel, A. Hellstöm, & M. B. Jorgensen (Eds.), Nostalgia and hope: Intersections between politics of culture, welfare, and migration in Europe (pp. 19-34). Springer.

Horst, C. (2018). Making a difference in Mogadishu? Experiences of multi-sited embeddedness among diaspora youth. Journal of Ethnic & Migration Studies, 44 (8), 1341-1356.

Hrynkow, C. (2018). Different faiths, common action: Religions for peace's multi-track diplomacy. International Journal on World Peace, 35(4), 37-71.

Hussain, S. (2014). Somalis in Copenhagen. Open Society Foundation.

Institute for Economics and Peace. (2019). Global peace index.

International Organization for Migration. (2015). Strengthening institutions through diaspora assistance.

International Organization for Migration. (2018). MIDA FINNSOM: A decade of tebuilding Somalia with the diaspora.

Karlsrud, J. (2019). From liberal peacebuilding to stabilization and counterterrorism. International Peacekeeping, 26(1), 1-21.

Kleist, N. (2008). Mobilising 'the diaspora': Somali transitional political engagement. Journal of Ethnic & Migration Studies, 34(2), 307-323.

Lehti, M. (2019). The era of private peacemakers: A new dialogic approach to mediation. Palgrace Mcmillan.

Levisen, C., & Waters, S. (2015). Lige, a Danish ‘magic word’?: An ethnopragmatic analysis. International Journal of Language & Culture, 2(2), 244-268.

Liberatore, G. (2018). Forging a ‘good diaspora’: Political mobilization among Somalis in the UK. Development & Change, 49(1), 146-169.

Majid, N., Abdirahman, K., & Hassan, S. (2017). Remittances and vulnerability in Somalia: Assessing sources, uses and delivery mechanisms. World Bank.

Marchal, M. (2017). Une élection somalienne. Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique.

Menkhaus, K. (2018). Elite bargains and political deals project: Somalia case study. DFID Stabilisation Unit.

Mouritsen, P., & Olsen, T. (2013). Denmark between liberalism and nationalism. Ethnic & Racial Studies, 36(4), 691-710.

Omar, Y. (2020). Knowledge and skills transfer as peace-building mechanisms: A study of the Somali diaspora. In U. Onyebadi (ed.), Multidisciplinary issues surrounding African diasporas (pp. 245-264). IGI Global.

Osman, I. (2017). Media, diaspora and the Somali conflict. Springer.

Osman, I. (2020) Return migration and nation-building in Africa: Reframing the Somali diaspora. Journal of Refugee Studies, 33(3), 622–624.

Pedersen, J., & Stothard, B. (2015). The Danish SSP model–prevention through support and cooperation. Drugs & Alcohol Today, 15(4), 231-242.

Price, T. F., & Price, L. A. (2004). Multitrack diplomacy: Global peace initiatives. In H. J. Langholtz & C. E. Stout (Eds.), Psychological dimensions to war and peace. The psychology of diplomacy (pp. 97–125). Praeger Publishers/Greenwood Publishing Group.

QS Top Universities. (2020, December 31). World universities ranking.

Richards, R. (2020). Fragility within stability: The state, the clan and political resilience in Somaliland. Third World Quarterly, 41(6), 1067-1083.

Román-Velázquez, P., & Retis, J. (2021). Narratives of migration, relocation and belonging. Springer.

Rosendal, J. (2019). Second generation Somali diaspora and remittances. [Bachelor thesis, Uppsala University]. Digitala Vetenskapliga Arkivet.

Ryan, S. (2013). The evolution of peacebuilding. In R. Mac Ginty (Ed.), Routledge handbook of peacebuilding (pp. 42-52). Routledge.

Saudi Press Agency. (2015, June 20). Danish Islamic Council president commends Determination Storm.

Scuzzarello, S., & Carlson, B. (2019). Young Somalis’ social identity in Sweden and Britain. Migration Studies, 7(4), 433-454.

Sheikh, H., & Healy, S. (2009). Somalia's missing million: The Somali diaspora and its role in development. United Nations Development Program.

Sipus, M. (2011). Support for al-Shabaab through the diaspora. Forced Migration Review, 37, 29.

Statistics Denmark. (2020, December 31). Population at the first day of the quarter by country of origin, age, sex, region, time and ancestry.

Statistics Sweden. (2019, December 31). Foreign-born by country of birth and year since last immigration.

Tellander, E., & Horst, C. (2019). A foreign policy actor of importance? The role of the Somali diaspora in shaping Norwegian policy towards Somalia. Foreign Policy Analysis, 15(1), 136-154.

United Nations High Commissioner for the Refugees. (2019, December 31). Somalia Fact Sheet.

United States Institute of Peace. (2015). The current situation in Somalia.

Valentine, G., Sporton, D., & Nielsen, K. (2009). Identities and belonging: A study of Somali refugee and asylum seekers living in the UK and Denmark. Environment & Planning D, 27(2), 234-250.

Wehrenfennig, D. (2008). Multi-track diplomacy and human security. Human Security Journal, 7, 80-88.

Winckler, J. (2015). Exceeding limitations of the UN peacekeeping bureaucracy, International Peacekeeping, 22(1), 43-64.

World Bank. (2020, December 31). Somalia. Overview.

Wren, K. (2001). Cultural racism: Something rotten in the state of Denmark? Social & Cultural Geography, 2(2), 141-162.

Young, N. (1987). The peace movement, peace research, peace education and peace building. Bulletin of Peace Proposals, 18(3), 334.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Journal of Ethnic and Cultural Studies E-ISSN: 2149-1291

Copyright © Center for Ethnic and Cultural Studies (CECS) Publishing Inc.

To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the '' domain to your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders.

SCImago Journal & Country Rank EBSCO HostCrossRef DOI – EScience Press ICI Journals Master Listerihplus hashtag on TwitterProQuest (@ProQuest) | Twitter