New book examines solutions to the South Sudan conflict

Press Release State and State Effectiveness

A new book provides the most comprehensive analysis to date of the South Sudan conflict – what contributed to it and what is needed to end it.

The Struggle for South Sudan: Challenges of Security and State Formationdiscusses realistic solutions to the ongoing conflict and humanitarian crisis in South Sudan. The book, sponsored by the London School of Economics and Political Science’s International Growth Centre (IGC) and the Africa Center for Strategic Studies, brings together essays from international and South Sudanese political scientists, economists, and practitioners, including a foreword by University of Oxford Professor Sir Paul Collier.

South Sudan is the world’s youngest country after gaining independence from Sudan in 2011 but has been embroiled in a civil war since 2013 that has led to tens of thousands of deaths and is largely a result of political and ethnic tensions. The book analyses the conflict and discusses policy proposals that could help achieve peace.

Key proposals include:

  • Introducing a power-sharing government comprised of the different ethnic groups, including a potential ‘House of Nationalities’ similar to Ethiopia’s House of Federation.
  • Decentralising the government and building a federal system of legislatures across the country.
  • Diversifying the country’s economy away from oil, moving it toward building a renewable energy sector and revitalising agriculture.
  • Building an effective civil service that can deliver public services.

The book will be formally launched today at an event at the LSE from 12:00-14:00 featuring a panel discussion with Adhieu Majok, South Sudanese writer and activist; Lovise Aalen, Research Director at the Chr. Michelsen Institute; and Sarah Logan, Senior Policy Economist at the IGC.

The book’s co-editor, Luka Biong Deng Kuol (Professor of Practice, Africa Center for Strategic Studies), said: 

“Eight years after gaining independence, South Sudan is now arguably the most fragile state in the world. Prospects of a peaceful, democratic future for our country are dim without addressing the current cycle of violence. We need to honestly reflect on what has gone wrong, pragmatic solutions that are grounded in the local context, and for national and international actors to work together to achieve lasting peace.”

The book’s other co-editor, Sarah Logan (Senior Policy Economist, IGC), said: 

“South Sudan is now in a dire humanitarian situation with more than one-third of the population displaced and two-thirds at the risk of extreme hunger. We want this book to raise the profile of the conflict with international actors and provoke a conversation about realistic solutions that can build sustainable peace and pave the road to growth and development.”

The book is published by I.B. Tauris and is now available to purchase online.