Sudan and South Sudan: Identity, Citizenship, and Democracy in Plural Societies

Posted: 11 Apr 2017

Date Written: June 6, 2013


This article discusses the institutional legacy of colonialism and how that has affected citizenship in Sudan and South Sudan. It argues that the colonial project made a legal distinction, especially in how citizenship was defined. It outlines problems facing Sudan and South Sudan and the challenges in managing a diverse population. It argues that a failure to build a democratic polity by resorting to ethnic federalism will divide the country along ethnic lines and prevent the emergence of a truly inclusive nation. Finally, the article discusses an alternative solution to the political crisis facing both Sudan and South Sudan, namely citizenship and the establishment of an inclusive framework to manage diverse populations within a unified nation. The article concludes with a discussion of the New Sudan Framework by situating it within the larger debate on democratic nation-building while also discussing its alignment with regional and international law.

Keywords: Sudan/South Sudan, political violence, citizenship, nation-building, democracy, ethnicity, New Sudan Framework

Suggested Citation

Zambakari, Christopher, Sudan and South Sudan: Identity, Citizenship, and Democracy in Plural Societies (June 6, 2013). Available at SSRN:

Christopher Zambakari (Contact Author)

The Zambakari Advisory, LLC ( email )

P.O. Box 18691
Phoenix, AZ ARIZONA (AZ) 85005
United States
6026709326 (Phone)


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