Nation and State-Building in South Sudan: Violence, Development, and Democracy
Zambakari, Christopher. 2014. "Nation and State Building in South Sudan: Violence, Development, and Democracy." Business, Peace and Sustainable Development 2014 (3):162-178. doi: 10.9774/GLEAF.8757.2014.ju.00009.
30 Pages Posted: 11 Apr 2017 Last revised: 20 Jun 2019
Date Written: June 3, 2014
This paper contributes to the on-going debate about nation and state building projects in Africa by focusing on the case of South Sudan. I discuss South Sudan’s political challenges by analyzing the factors that fuel the problem of violence. This study situates the problem within the socio-historical context of state formation. In the first section, I quantify the determinants of violence, present frequencies and percent distribution of incidents resulting in documented deaths, and tabulate the ratio of person(s) killed to number of incidents in the states most affected by violence. I exposit on the legal dualism of an individual right to land running parallel to communal land ownership, and the tension that exists between the two systems and its relationship to fueling violence over access to land. I then argue that South Sudan must reconcile differences between private, public, state ownership of land (freehold/leasehold land tenure) and communal land ownership. Lastly, I provide a discussion on the New Sudan Framework (NSF), presented as one alternative model for nation building in South Sudan. I conclude the study with a call for a better understanding of the issues that drive violence, and enumerate a number of tentative reforms that may bring peace to a war-torn South Sudan and enable it to build a peaceful society for its citizens.
Keywords: Nation and State Building, South Sudan, Violence, Development, and Democracy
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