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The Root Causes of Sudan's Civil Wars (African Issues) [Englisch] [Taschenbuch]

Douglas H. Johnson
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10. Dezember 2002 African Issues
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 more 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. A well-balanced account of the numerous and complex forces involved in one of Africa's most intractable conflicts.
-- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.


  • Taschenbuch: 234 Seiten
  • Verlag: Indiana Univ Pr; Auflage: Updated. (10. Dezember 2002)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 0253215846
  • ISBN-13: 978-0253215840
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 21 x 14 x 1 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 4.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (1 Kundenrezension)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 244.554 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
  • Komplettes Inhaltsverzeichnis ansehen

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'Anyone wanting to understand this African tragedy should read Douglas Johnson's "The Root Causes of Sudan's Civil Wars"...Mr. Johnson offers a brilliant analysis of the war and its causes written in simple, clear prose.' - The Economist 'Douglas Johnson has written a landmark book that deserves not only to change the nature of Sudan studies but how we think of war, peace and development generally. It is a task for which he is well qualified. As a historian with an anthropologist's eye, his interests span pre-colonial, colonial and post-colonial conditions. Unique among contemporary writers, Johnson has not only made major contributions to the historiography of Sudan and the interpretation of its rich ethnography, he has also worked for the aid agencies that now populate much of this country. From this wide vantage point Johnson's critical book succeeds in rescuing Sudan from the heart of darkness that continues to be conjured by whistle-stop journalists and self-serving NGOs. Writing from the perspective of South Sudan he also addresses the long-standing bias in Sudan studies and the international mediation efforts in the current war: an implicit affirmation and tacit collusion with the expansive institutions of northern Arab society at the expense of its politically disadvantaged African hinterland... 'Douglas Johnson has written an important book. Not least, because it brings politics back into the North-South equation...Only with self-determination being a real option - something that successive governments have fudged or rejected - is there a possibility to negotiate a robust and equitable settlement. Without this, as in the past, peace will be a smoke-screen behind which the political antagonism between free and servile subjects will continue its violent and destructive work.' - Mark Duffield in Journal of Refugee Studies 'This authoritative and detailed study of Sudan's contemporary conflicts aims to discourage "quick fix" thinking by tracing the historical patterns of power and politics that have brought the country to its current impasse...Never just a matter of competition between religions, races, or regions, Sudan's multiple internal conflicts today are as seemingly intractable as ever, despite serious peace efforts. Students and researchers will benefit from the extended bibliographic essay and chronology included in this excellent book.' - Foreign Affairs 'This feisty book comes from a scholar who knows Sudan better than most and does not hesitate to let us know. The information distilled into this 120 proof paperback will rile a great many people, but I am among those who have been watching Douglas Johnson (from a safe distance) for a number of years and am delighted to see this long overdue and affordable book.' - Lillian Craig Harris in Sudan Church Review 'The plural of the title is sadly significant. Johnson's introduction points out that much of the writing on conflict in the Sudan (not a little of which has taken the form of self-justificatory statements by various actors) has recurred to a sterile debate, between those who identify "the war" as the continuation of a long pattern of "northern" oppression and those who attribute the conflict to the baleful consequences of British colonial policies which encouraged racial and ethnic tensions. The real value of this book is that it rises above this, partly by the remarkable breadth and depth of knowledge on which the author calls, but more importantly by its consideration of the multiplicity of the current conflicts.' - Justin Willis in Journal of African History 'The strength of the book lies in its detailed narrative of the development of the civil wars on the ground, especially the wars that began in 1983. Johnson is well placed to chronicle the tragedies, having researched Nuer history in the 1970s and long been involved in relief operations in the '80s and '90s... He is thus able to write with knowledge and insight, not only chronicling the wars, b -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.


Sudan's post-independence history has been dominated by political and civil strife. Most commentators have attributed the country's recurring civil war to either to an age-old racial divide between "Arabs" and "Africans", or to recent colonially constructed inequalities. This book attempts a more complex analysis, briefly examining the historical, political, economic and social factors which have contributed to periodic outbreaks of violence between the state and its peripheries. In tracing historical continuities, it outlines the essential differences between the modern Sudan's first civil war in the 1960s and the current war. It also looks at the series of minor civil wars generated by, and contained within, the major conflict, as well as the regional and international factors - including "humanitarian aid" - which have exacerbated civil violence. This introduction is aimed at students of North-East Africa, and of conflict and ethnicity. It should be useful for people in aid and international organizations who need a straightforward analytical survey. -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.


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3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Not yet the ultimate book on the conflict but.... 27. Dezember 2003
Douglas H. Johnson, a scholar, whose interest in Sudan's South is now more that 10 years old has expanded a 1996 review of the UN Operation Lifeline Sudan into a 234 pp. book about the Sudan Conflict which gives a very good overview of the historical development of the conflict, its major players, the role of natural resources, the slavery debate and the role of NGOs or the UN in General.
I particularily like that he is ready to take on other Authors in the cause to be objective. Millard Burr and Rober O'Collins for example can enjoy the fact that Johnson draws a connection between their relation to Chevron and their reporting on the company - ouch.
But Politicians also get very bad comments:
Dr Lam Akol is described as a man, who consistantly alienates the people surrounding him and the former "Assistant President" of Sudan Dr Riek Machar gets the verdict, that his achievementswere " fomenting Civil War amongst the Nuer and handing the oilfields over to the Gouvernment" - ouch.
This refreshing frankness is unfortunately tempered by factual mistakes Johnson makes from time to time.
I somewhat doubt the John Garang really is a Twic Dinka as in southetn sudanese internal debates he is considered to be Dinka Bor debate and clearly there is no dichotomy between Arabs and Baqqara in Darfur. By sudanese standards the Baqqara are Arabs and that is that.
It also shows that the study was first created in 1996, as say Dr Michael Wal Duany, the leader of a minor politico-military movement in Upper Nile is not even mentioned and the long time Nr 2 of the SPLM and SPLA Cdr.
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 4.6 von 5 Sternen  8 Rezensionen
23 von 24 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen a knowledgeable big-picture view about an underserved topic 4. Juni 2006
Von Kirk Huff - Veröffentlicht auf
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.

There are a couple points that made me consider moving this down to four stars. One is that Johnson is clearly partisan to the south. He is not fatally so in my opinion, describing some very unflattering characteristics and actions of Garang's faction, and making his bias clear from the beginning. By the end of the book, he also makes a strong case that "neutrality" has been misused or abused in the context of the Sudanese wars, and led me to muse that his outrage seems to spring from his knowledge, versus some writers about southern Sudan whose outrage impedes their learning. I also occasionally found the division of the book in its latter section into thematic sections confusing, especially in cases where the text would refer to later chapters for more information about a mentioned event or process. Fortunately, the appendix includes both a detailed chronology from 1972 through 2001 and a pretty good topical index for when I needed a bit of help orienting myself. The extensive annotated bibliography would be quite useful for some people. There is also the rather obvious issue that the book was written prior to the finalization of the peace agreement and death of Garang, which makes me anxious for an update.

Bottom line: If you want to know about the conflicts in Sudan between 1983 and 2001, then this is the book. If you've read other works on Sudan, you'll be astonished at how thoroughly Johnson annihilates the common wisdom. And whoever you are, you may come to share some of Johnson's outrage.
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Von mfradin42 - Veröffentlicht auf
An intriguing book that adopts a new slant on the development of Islam in the Sudan. Author Johnson shows us, step by step how the rise of states in this region and their relations with neighbors and the West resulted in a different form of religious expression. The Dervishes that fought the British at the end of the 19th century were imbued with a fervor, according to Johnson that reflected a long-developed process of assimilation and adaptation to both the Northern Arab, the Southern African and he West in general - the colonial experience. It is a fine addition to Francis Deng's great book, WAR OF VISIONS. I found THE ROOT CAUSES OF SUDAN'S CIVIL WARS a very enlightening read. As the author of a new book on the Sudan, JIHAD: THE MAHDI REBELLION IN THE SUDAN, I must include this volume into any meaningful understanding of historical forces in this region. TOP RATED!!!
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3.0 von 5 Sternen Recommended for experts, not necessarily for beginners 2. März 2010
Von Will Jerom - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
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.
5.0 von 5 Sternen Five Stars 15. Juli 2014
Von Alier Garang Alier - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
How much discount will I get if I order this book again
4.0 von 5 Sternen biased perspective 23. Juni 2013
Von Peter Wankomo - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
excellent, although with some bias, the author overwhelmingly minimized atrocities committed on civilians by spla vis-a-vis those committed against the spla domineering tribe.
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