Title: Masters of War The Role of Elites in Sudan
Author: سيف اليزل سعد عمر
Date: 01-27-2014, 10:24 AM
Next week my friend Johan Brosché from Uppsala University will defend his thesis: Master of War, The Role of Elites in Sudan’s Communal Conflicts
An interessting reading. If you want to have a pdf copy please send an email to me
Title: Re: Masters of War The Role of Elites in Sudan
Author: سيف اليزل سعد عمر
Date: 01-27-2014, 10:26 AM
Brosché, J. 2014. Masters of War. The Role of Elites in Sudan’s Communal Conflicts.
Report / Department of Peace and Conflict Research 102. 195 pp. Uppsala: Department of
Peace and Conflict Research. ISBN 978-91-506-2381-9.
Why do communal conflicts turn violent in some regions but not in others? Communal conflicts
pose a severe threat to human security and kill thousands of people each year, but our
understanding of this phenomenon is still limited. In particular, we lack knowledge about why
some of these conflicts become violent while others are resolved peacefully. This study addresses
this knowledge gap and has a novel approach by addressing subnational variations
that are unexplained by previous research. The theoretical framework combines insights from
three different perspectives focusing on the role of the state, elite interactions, and conditions
for cooperation over common resources. Empirically, the research question is investigated by
combining within- and between-region analyses of three Sudanese regions: Darfur, Eastern
Sudan, and Greater Upper Nile. Despite sharing several similar characteristics, communal
conflicts have killed thousands in Darfur and Greater Upper Nile but only a few dozen in
Eastern Sudan. The empirical analysis builds on extensive material collected during fieldwork.
This study generates several conclusions about the importance of government conduct and
how state behavior contributes to the prevalence of violent communal conflicts. It finds that
when governments act in a biased manner – favoring certain communities over others – interactions
between central and local elites as well as among local elites are disrupted. Unconstructive
elite interactions, in turn, have negative effects on three mechanisms that are crucial
for communal cooperation. First, when the regime is biased, communal affiliation, rather than
the severity and context of a violation, determines the sanctions that are imposed on the perpetrators.
Second, government bias leads to unclear boundaries, which contribute to violent
communal conflicts by creating disarray and by shifting power balances between the communities.
Third, regime partiality distances rules from local conditions and restricts the influence
of local actors who have an understanding of local circumstances. The study also reveals why
a regime acts with partiality in some areas but not in others. The answer to this question is
found in the complex interplay between the threats and opportunities that a region presents to
the regime. Taken together, the findings have important implications for the prevention and
management of communal conflict.
Keywords: communal conflicts, causes of conflict, conflict prevention, conflict resolution,
government bias, elites, common-pool resources, sanctions, boundaries, local rules, Sudan,
South Sudan, Darfur, Eastern Sudan, Greater Upper Nile