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Transforming Sudan
Decolonization, Economic Development, and State Formation

$105.00 (C)

Part of African Studies

  • Date Published: December 2017
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107172494

$ 105.00 (C)

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About the Authors
  • Following the conclusion of the Second World War, the nature of inequality in Africa was dramatically altered. In this book, Alden Young traces the emergence of economic developmentalism as the ideology of the Sudanese state in the decolonization era. Young demonstrates how the state was transformed, as a result of the international circulation of tools of economic management and the practice of economic diplomacy, from the management of a collection of distinct populations, to the management of a national economy based on individual equality. By studying the hope and eventual disillusionment this ideology gave to late colonial officials and then Sudanese politicians and policymakers, Young demonstrates its rise, and also its shortfalls as a political project in Sudan, particularly its inability to deal with questions of regional and racial equity, not only showing how it fostered state formation, but also civil war.

    • Provides the reader with a historical treatment of debates on postcolonial state formation which intervenes in social science debates on bureaucrats in African and Middle Eastern states, bridging gaps between multiple disciplines
    • Explains Sudan's civil wars through the lens of economic and development policy, disputing the claim in existing literature that postcolonial civil war was not the result of ethnic or religious tensions
    • Provides an easy introduction to development studies and economic history across Sudan and the wider region, ideal for non-specialists
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Today, a technocratic, economistic vision of a modern Sudan is a half-remembered dream. Alden Young’s superb book - a combination of political economy and cultural history - brings into focus the important but neglected story of how the country was once a model of planned development, led by an elite of Sudanese and British economists.' Alex DeWaal, Tufts University, Massachusetts

    'This is a compelling study of the imaginative, destructive projects of economic planning. Alden Young explains how officials in late colonial and independent Sudan came to imagine ‘the economy’ as a particular, measurable, phenomenon; how they sought to transform it through schemes of development - and how calamitous the consequences of those policies were for the people of Sudan. This book makes a major contribution to our understanding of Sudan’s history - and provides a salutary lesson for planners everywhere.' Justin Willis, Durham University

    'Young genuinely advances the literature on decolonization, development, and state formation. Transforming Sudan belongs on the bookshelf of every scholar of these related fields and will be of great interest to African and Middle Eastern historians, too.' Cyrus Schayegh, H-IslamInAfrica

    '… [Alden Young] offers an insightful and valuable history of how political choices shaped the creation of national statistics and how the implementation of those statistics necessarily constrained the economic imaginaries of Sudanese leaders. One great contribution of his book is to show just how important a vision of limitless economic growth was to post-colonial Sudanese officials.' Stephen Macekura, Diplomatic History

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    Product details

    • Date Published: December 2017
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107172494
    • length: 194 pages
    • dimensions: 241 x 163 x 17 mm
    • weight: 0.41kg
    • contains: 1 b/w illus. 2 maps
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction: the economizing logic of the state
    1. From colonial economics to political economy 1820–1940
    2. Planning and the territorial perspective, 1945 until 1951
    3. Calculable development, 1951 to 1954
    4. The new finance officials
    5. The nation, in whose name they could act: the military and national income accounting
    6. A nation-state alone cannot transform its destiny
    Conclusion: towards a new African economic history

  • Author

    Alden Young, Drexel University, Philadelphia
    Alden Young is an Assistant Professor of African History and the Director of the Program in Africana Studies at Drexel University, Philadelphia. He was previously a Post-Doctoral Fellow in the Africana Studies Department at the University of Pennsylvania and holds a Ph.D. in History from Princeton University, New Jersey.

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