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Title: Stories of a failed nation : Sudanese politics 1945-69
Author: Mihatsch, Moritz Anselm
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2014
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Between 1945 and 1969 the Sudanese achieved independence and overthrew a military junta with a popular uprising. Nevertheless both democratic periods were quickly ended by military coups. At the same time a civil war divided the country. The thesis asks why the democratic structures were so unstable, and unable to end the conflict between north and south. It argues that the ideas about the Sudanese nation by different groups were so contradictory, that no nation could be built. As a result, the political system failed to find a stable form and to deliver policy results to the constituents. The thesis is using political parties as units of analysis and primarily the constitutional process and, secondarily, questions of independence and sovereignty, as prisms. It discusses the history of the political parties within the context of the political history of Sudan. The discussions about the constitution are understood as one form of expressing ideas about the nation. The thesis presents the different suggestions for the constitution by different parties, especially in regards to governance, federalism, and religion. These contradictory ideas led to the failure of the constitution writing process. The thesis argues that the contradictory positions of the parties created a dual deadlock, which led to a breakdown of democracy. Firstly, due to reciprocal distrust, widely diverging platforms, and generally the difficulty of forming coalition governments, especially in the absence of a democratic tradition, coalitions became extremely unstable and politicians were forced to invest a lot of time and effort to keep coalitions alive and in consequence concrete political actions did not receive enough attention. Secondly, the divergent perceptions of the nation led to a situation where they stopped to see each other as part of the same nation and therefore stopped to recognise others as legitimately participating in the political process.
Supervisor: Deutsch, Jan-Georg Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: History of Africa ; International,imperial and global history ; Sudan ; colonialism ; imperialism ; nationalism ; independence ; political parties ; elections