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War and Underdevelopment$
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Frances Stewart and Valpy Fitzgerald

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780199241880

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199241880.001.0001

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Sudan: Conflict and Rationality

Sudan: Conflict and Rationality

(p.220) 8 Sudan: Conflict and Rationality
War and Underdevelopment

David Keen

Oxford University Press

Warfare, particularly civil warfare, has commonly been depicted as irrational. Recent civil wars, including the war in Sudan, have often been seen as the result of tribalism, mindless violence, religious rivalries or some combination of the three. Civil war in Sudan can be seen as a deepening of exploitative processes that existed in ‘normal’ times, a continuation and exaggeration of long-standing conflicts over resources. It is also a means of maximizing the benefits of economic transactions through the exercise of various kinds of force against groups depicted as ‘fair game’ in the context of civil, or ‘holy’ war. This chapter focuses on the ‘border’ area between north and south Sudan, particularly northern Bahr el Ghazal and southern Kordofan, an area of intense suffering, particularly during the period 1986–8.

Keywords:   civil warfare, tribalism, Bahr el Ghazal, Kordofan, Sudan, holy war

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