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Title: Darfur conflict : problematising identity discourse in relation to marginalisation and development
Author: Bode-Kehinde, Olushola
ISNI:       0000 0004 5347 2837
Awarding Body: University of Strathclyde
Current Institution: University of Strathclyde
Date of Award: 2014
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The conflict in Darfur, largely regarded as the ‘worst humanitarian crisis’ of the 21st century, has been presented as a war between two exclusive ethnic/national identity groups. This study challenges such reductionist thinking, with the theory that ethnic identities in Darfur are not strictly divided by a primordial African/Arab dichotomy. Conversely, this project argues that such identities are a result of perceptual differences that transcend any biological essentialist mode of argument. Further, the cementing of these perceived identities is strengthened by various state policies espoused by several Sudanese governments’ vision of ‘Arabisation’ and ‘Islamisation’. These policies serve as tools for the marginalisation of non-Arabised groups in Darfur and, in turn, have served to exclude groups challenging perceived anomalies and injustices via means of force and armed struggle. In essence, this study problematises the issue of identity as it relates to marginalisation and development in Darfur. Given that the main theme of this study is identity, the principle methodology adopted is qualitative in nature, consisting of in-depth semi-structured interviews with, multi-ethnic informants. Darfurian identities, it is argued, are largely political in nature rather than strictly cultural or racial. Overall, this study argues that state-endorsed policies have led to discriminatory strategies which aid marginalisation and the under-development of certain groups in the region. This creates a dysfunctional patron-client state system which only seeks to support groups perceived to be in-line with the accepted definition of Darfurian national identity, as well as creating a widening gap between the co-existing groups in terms of political, socio-economic and human development. Such a gap only serves to strengthen the perceived differences amongst and between the ethnic groups under consideration and further reinforces the perceived ‘ethnic boundaries’ Barth (1969) wrote about.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available