South Sudan 2017: A Political Marketplace Analysis

This paper analyzes South Sudan since independence using the framework of the political marketplace, in order to provide a guide to understanding the trajectory of the current crisis and the steps needed to address it. It provides a succinct overview of the theory of the political marketplace and the ancillary concepts of moral populism and the negotiated sovereign entitlement to kill. It shows how South Sudan achieved independence as a rentier political marketplace organized by a conglomerate, bound together by a series of pacts, made possible by cash payments. When that cash dried up, the pacts dissolved, and the rivalries among political entrepreneurs became unmanageable and turned violent.

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