SOAS University of London

Department of Politics and International Studies

Mr Matthew Beck Gordon

  • Research
  • Publications


Matthew Gordon
Mr Matthew Beck Gordon
Email address:
SOAS University of London
Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG
Russell Square: College Buildings
Thesis title:
‘Making Somaliland: Sovereignty and the Social Covenant, 1991- 2019’
Year of Study:
Internal Supervisors


Matthew Gordon is a PhD candidate in the Department of Politics & International Studies at SOAS, University of London, where he previously was awarded an MSc in Violence, Conflict & Development. Prior to his current studies, Mr. Gordon worked for over six years as an advisor and consultant in diplomacy, local governance, land issues, peacebuilding and statebuilding for a variety of international agencies, including UNDP, the Rift Valley Institute and Independent Diplomat. This included four years living and working in Somaliland, Somalia and Kenya, where he worked especially closely with, and often as a colleague of, national government actors, in particular those at the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and National Development of Somaliland. Mr. Gordon has long supported advocacy and activism in support of Somaliland self-determination and recognition as an independent state by the international community

PhD Research

Matthew’s doctoral research looks at Somaliland’s unconventional path of state formation and social integration in the aftermath of conflict and mass atrocity, interrogating the extent to which Somaliland’s historical trajectory offers an alternative model of political association-building beyond the confines of the traditional nation-state form. In particular, by considering these issues in light of ‘social contract’ theory, the research seeks to centre horizontal, non-hegemonic, non-sovereign forms of rationality as a potential basis for post-colonial social transformation. 


  • Politics and International Relations of Africa
  • Political Theory
  • Postcolonial and decolonial theory
  • Peacebuilding and State building
  • Transitional Justice
  • International Political Sociology
  • International Political Economy



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