Abdi Ismail Samatar

Region of Interest


Primary Country of Residence

United States of America




University of Minnesota



Mailing Address

Department of Geography, Environment & Society
University of Minnesota
414 Social Sciences
267 19th Avenue South
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55455

Phone/Fax Number(s)


Countries of Specialization

Somalia : Ethiopia ; Botswana ; Horn of Africa region ; Eastern Africa ; Southern Africa


Ph.D.: University of California, Berkeley, CA, 1985 ; MCRP: Urban/Regional Planning, Iowa State University, 1981 ; A.B.: University of Wisconsin, La Crosse, 1979.

Research Interests

Relationship between democracy and development in the Third World in general and Africa in particular; links between democratic leadership, public institutions, and development in East and South Africa; Islam, social capital and ethnicity in the Horn of Africa; and environment and development more generally.

See also: https://cla.umn.edu/about/directory/profile/samat001

Teaching Interests

Geography of the Islamic World ; Southern Africa: Beyond Apartheid ; Environment and Development in the Third World ;
Globalization and Development: A Political Economy Approach



-- Africa's First Democrats: Somalia's Aden A. Osman & Abdirazak H. Hussen. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2016.

-- The African State: Reconsiderations. (co-editor with Ahmed Samatar) Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, 2002.

-- An African Miracle: State and Class Leadership and Colonial Legacy in Botswana. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, 1999.

-- The state and rural transformation in Northern Somalia, 1884-1986. Madison, Wis. : University of Wisconsin Press, c1989.

Selected recent journal articles:

-- "Africa: Beware of Obama's second term." African Studies Review, 56:2 (2013): 179-183.

-- "The Dialectics of Piracy in Somalia: the Poor versus the Rich." Third World Quarterly, December 2010.

-- "Faithless Power as Fraticide: Is there an Alternative in Somalia?" Bidhaan: International Journal of Somali Studies, 9 (2009): 63-81.


Somalia ; Ethiopia ; Botswana ; geography ; development