Sudan s post independence history has been dominated by long, recurring, and bloody civil wars Most commentators have attributed the country s political and civil strife either to an age old racial and ethnic divide between Arabs and Africans or to colonially constructed inequalities In The Root Causes of Sudan s Civil Wars, Douglas H Johnson examines historical, political, economic, and social factors to come to a subtle understanding of the trajectory of Sudan s civil wars Johnson focuses on the essential differences between the modern Sudan s first civil war in the 1960s, the current war, and the minor conflicts generated by and contained within the larger wars Regional and international factors, such as humanitarian aid, oil revenue, and terrorist organizations, are cited and examined as underlying issues that have exacerbated the violence Readers will find an immensely readable yet nuanced and well informed handling of the history and politics of Sudan s civil wars....
|Title||:||The Root Causes of Sudan's Civil Wars (African Issues), Updated to the Peace Agreement|
|Publisher||:||The International Africa Inst Indiana Univ Press Updated ed edition January 2, 2003|
|Number of Pages||:||256 pages|
|File Size||:||875 KB|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
The Root Causes of Sudan's Civil Wars (African Issues), Updated to the Peace Agreement Reviews
I have been doing research on Sudan and South Sudan in academic and organizational settings since my third year of college and have read just about every book that focuses on conflict in Sudan. Douglas Johnson's work is the most comprehensive, although I recommend reading work by R.O. Collins, J.M. Jok, S.E. Hutchinson, P.A. Nyaba, Alex de Waal, and John Young as well for various approaches and perspectives on Sudan's conflict. Johnson frames his assessment of the history of conflict in Sudan as a matter of unequal distribution of power and wealth between the center and peripheries. Over the past several hundred years, the political center has shifted from Darfur/Kordofan during the Mahdi's time, to colonial power focused on agricultural schemes, to riverine Arab groups that dominated politics from Sudan's independence in 1956 until South Sudan's independence in 2011, and continue to dominate Sudan today.
After reading this book, you will laugh at newspaper reports that describe the conflict in Sudan as between "the Muslim north and Christian and animist south". Johnson not only has extensive academic publications in Sudanese ethnography and historiography, but also worked in the aid field in the country. He is also, in a well-sourced, calm and clearly presented manner, outraged at how thoroughly misunderstood the situation in Sudan is. The detail in this book is amazing. I consider myself fairly knowledgeable in an armchair kind of way about southern Sudan, and was consistently being presented with either facts of which I was unaware or, better yet, syntheses tying together various fields in a historical perspective. The offensives, famines, factionalism within southern groups, agricultural schemes, external mediators, forced displacement patterns, and competing aid agencies are all here, and presented so one can see the linkages. This is one of the rare books in which, for example, the connection between the timing of government offensives to seasonal rainfall is convincingly fit within framework of underdevelopment as a political strategy.
If you are an expert on Sudan, or know quite a bit already, this book may be 4-star book. If you are only a beginner, who knows little, this book is probably not for you, and you would only get "two stars" out of it. For those not so well-versed, I recommend Jok Madut Jok's book on "Sudan, Race ,Religion and Violence." Douglas Johnson's book is written with the assumption that its audience has some familiarity with Sudan already. All others will get quickly lost in the details of the Sudanese conflict, which are quite extensively (if not exhaustively) presented. The writing can tend to be very academic and dry in parts, but the patient reader will glean some real gems of wisdom - or perhaps I should say hot coals of horror - for the intolerance and blindness which has helped perpetuate this conflict really staggers the mind of all people accustomed to peace and tolerance in a democratic society. This work goes to show that unfortunately most people do not have that experience, as the people in Sudan are locked in a conflict that is "racist" and "religion-ist", while they struggle to lift themselves out of poverty. Again experts or those avid or patient enough will get a lot out of Johnson's book - but the reading will not be easy, especially if you have no real prior knowledge of the Sudanese conflict.
Douglas Johnson's "The Root Causes of Sudan's Civil Wars" was an informative and interesting read. I enjoyed it because it gave me insights into the current crisis and why the South Sudanese still find a reason to continue to fight not only the Sudanese but also fighting among the tribes in South Sudan.