From the monthly archives: April 2023

Democratic societies need prisons – so the argument goes — as the harsh side of rule of law. No one is equal before the law, a key premise of democracy, if rules are broken without consequences. In this way, equality tempers freedom, allowing a justification for incarceration.

But prisons do not protect rule of […]

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Sudan’s civil war is senseless but was forseeable. The prospect of street fighting in the national capital, comparable to Mogadishu in 1991 or Tripoli in 2012, was too awful to contemplate, especially given the reputation of the metropolitan Sudanese for restraint within their heartland. But any frank analysis of the logic of Sudanese politics pointed […]

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Sudan’s war-makers refuse to learn from history. Time and again they seem to believe, despite every piece of evidence from the country’s sorry history of conflict and destruction, that using force will solve their problems. I have listened to Sudanese generals, politicians and rebel commanders, explaining why war is unavoidable, or necessary, or even desirable. […]

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Alex de Waal, Jan Nyssen, Gebrekirstos Gebreselassie, Boud Roukema and Rundassa Eshete

Ever since Abiy Ahmed was awarded his PhD degree at the Institute of Peace and Security Studies (IPSS) at Addis Ababa University in 2017, questions have been asked about whether this was a legitimate doctorate. One of us (Rundassa) was the first […]

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A shift from a political economy predicated on the distribution of oil revenues to one based on the apportionment of positions and licenses has intensified inequality in South Sudan and enabled continued elite domination.

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