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South Sudan: from colonialism to federalism

Federalism has once again become a central issue in political debate in South Sudan. The idea has a long pedigree in the country’s political history, signifying different things at different times. In Federalism in the history of South Sudanese political thought, Douglas Johnson explains how the idea evolved in the colonial era as part of the southern search for political identity. His paper discusses attitudes towards federalism and the ways it was presented from before Sudan’s independence in 1956, up to South Sudan’s independence today. Johnson’s paper – first delivered in a packed lecture hall at Juba University – is required reading for those who wish to see orderly discussion on the various federal systems before we rush into something which could lead to an even bigger problem.

The paper can be accessed here.

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