Knowledge for Tomorrow: Cooperative Research Projects in Sub-Saharan Africa
Political, Economic, and Social Dynamics in Sub-Saharan Africa
sponsored by the Volkswagen Foundation
Cooperative Research Project
Governance and Social Action in Sudan after the Peace Agreement of January 2005:
local, national, and regional dimensions
Professor Karl Wohlmuth from the University of Bremen and UNMISS (United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan) have agreed to cooperate in assessing the situation with regard of peace, security and development in South Sudan. UNMISS has a mandate since 9 July 2011 to consolidate peace and security and to establish conditions for development (see the link to UNMISS: http://www.un.org/en/peacekeeping/missions/unmiss/). Professor Karl Wohlmuth and a representative from UNMISS have recently agreed in Bremen to exchange information and to assess the situation in South Sudan. Professor Wohlmuth works since 1978 on development in Sudan, researching on economic development and the political economy of Sudan. Since 2005 the professor researches on the implications of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) between the North and the South, and since 2011 he works about the modalities of a strategic cooperation between Sudan and South Sudan (see the link: Sudan Economy Research Group/SERG and the project Economic Policies in Sudan after the Referendum of 2011). Recently a documentary film by ARTE has shown the tremendous difficulties to establish the foundations for a viable state of South Sudan (see the link to the film by ARTE: http://www.arte.tv/guide/de/045315-000/suedsudan-geburt-eines-staates#details-photos, and see also the Documentary Film "South Sudan - Birth of a State"). Any progress will depend on a strategic cooperation between Sudan and South Sudan as the border region between the two countries is so important for peace, security, growth and development in both countries.
After six years of research and training the Project "Governance and Social Action in Sudan after the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) of January 9, 2005" has ended. The interdisciplinary Research Project covering economics, political science, history and geography disciplines had two components, a research component and a training component.
In the Research Component the project partners (professors of the partner universities in Sudan, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya and Germany who were funded in their research programmes related to the project) and the students (PhD and Master students who were financed by the project) worked on specific issues of governance, reconstruction and development after more than two decades of civil war in Sudan. The purpose was to investigate into the conditions of reconstruction, development and governance reforms after the conclusion of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. This was done in order to follow up the actions and policies in Sudan in the transition period to the Referendum in South Sudan on Independence and then the Independence Declaration of South Sudan. Major issue was to derive lessons from the two peaceful periods of Sudan for future cooperation and development in Sudan - the period of 1972 - 1983 after the Addis Ababa Agreement and the transition period of 2005 2011 which started after the CPA of January 9, 2005. These were the only peaceful periods in the history of independent Sudan. Since the Independence Declaration of South Sudan on July 9, 2011 the hostilities between Sudan and South Sudan have intensified again (parallel to conflicts within the two countries).
In the Training Component the PhD and Master students participated in altogether 15 workshops in Sudan, South Sudan, Kenya, Ethiopia and in Bremen, Germany to discuss research topics, methodologies and draft papers and chapters. New research methodologies and research concepts related to governance, development and the reconstruction of institutions were presented. Major results of the workshop presentations and of PhD and Master researches were published in the IWIM Book Series as numbers 15 and 18 (Link: IWIM Book Series) and in the IWIM Report Series as number 40 (Link: IWIM White Series Papers). With the exception of the Report Series Number 40 all other books are sales publications. Other research results from the workshops were published with James Currey (Link: http://www.jamescurrey.com/store/viewItem.asp?idProduct=13477). A further volume will be published on the results of the final workshops of the research project in Juba and Khartoum. Beside of the joint studies numerous publications were done by the Project Partners and by the Project Students on an individual basis. They will be listed in the Final Project Report.
The project was directed by Professor Karl Wohlmuth and by Dr. Elke Grawert, a former IWIM staff. The Project was funded generously by the Volkswagen Foundation with around € 800,000. The Project Coordinator over the six year period, Dr. Elke Grawert, is now preparing the Final Report on behalf of the Project Partners from Sudan, South Sudan, Kenya, Ethiopia and Germany.
Dr. Elke Grawert, now working as a Senior Expert at BICC in Bonn, is organizing the next International Sudan Studies Conference to be held at the Rheinisch-Westfälische Universität in Bonn which is planned for July 2012. Professor Wohlmuth continues with a new Research Project on "Economic Policies in Sudan after the Referendum of 2011" (Link: http://www.iwim.uni-bremen.de/files/dateien/1666_neues_projekt_eco_pol_sudan.pdf). The purpose is to reflect on sustainable economic policies but also to investigate into new models of economic cooperation between Sudan and South Sudan.
The key elements in this research are governance, on the one hand, social action, on the other, and both are being investigated in a multi-level perspective.
Governance relates to the institutions, organizations, networks and activities that are involved in governing society in the region under consideration (Sudan and some neighbouring countries). Most of the participants in this project apply governance in the sense that it includes activities and structures aiming to creating and delivering common goods and services for the broader society. The actors of governance include public and private organizations, and the institutions established in order to govern after the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) are negotiated between actors of governmental organizations, between private actors, and between actors from both sectors. Actors and organizations involved originate from all levels, ranging from local up to supranational.
A minority among the project participants investigates rule, which has to be distinguished from governance. They try to figure out which actors and interests are de facto involved in governing the Sudan and interfere in or even undermine "governance" in the above sense.
Social action denotes the activities of groups of society related to the CPA itself, the changes brought about by the CPA, and in response to developments that are indirectly linked to the end of the civil war. The project participants who examine social action in our research look also into conflictive issues and the varying ways societal groups have been dealing with conflicts since 2005, compared to the period before the CPA was concluded. Their studies refer to societal groups within Sudan as well as across the borders, mainly to Ethiopia and Kenya. Social action analyses comprise local, national and the sub-regional level.
On this basis, the project is split up sub-topics which can be aggregated to the following five main research fields:
- Political participation and decision-making processes after the CPA
- Return and repatriation of internally displaced people and refugees after the CPA
- Continuing conflicts after the CPA
- Investment, reconstruction and capacity building after the CPA
- Sub-regional and international relations after the CPA
Since some of the researchers are not present at this conference, their topics are briefly mentioned here. The PhD projects will be presented by the researchers after this introduction.
General research objectives of this project are to generate knowledge about:
Social, political, cultural and economic processes in societies after the formal ending of civil war,
Ways to sustain peace on the basis of implementing a formal peace agreement with economic, political and development-oriented dimensions
Reasons and motives for renewed or ongoing conflict
Approaches and possibilities to transform violent conflicts into non-violent negotiations within the framework of a formally negotiated peace agreement between major warring parties,
Economic, social and political repercussions of ending a long-lasting civil war with regard to the sub-region.
Recent IWIM Book Series Publication on Sudan: A new Book on Reconstruction and Development in Sudan, with special emphasis on South Sudan, was released some days ago by the publisher (see left); the author analyses the conditions and perspectives of institutions and of investment in Sudan, applying a New Institutional Economics Approach. Panel Econometrics Methods and Doing Business Surveys were used. The Research Programme was supervised by Professor Karl Wohlmuth, and it was financed by the VolkswagenStiftung.