Sudan: A Political Marketplace Framework Analysis

This paper provides a succinct analysis of Sudan as a political marketplace. It assumes a working knowledge of the basic principles of the political marketplace framework (PMF). It does not offer a policy recommendation, but rather a framework for analyzing the Sudanese predicament so as to understand the implications of different courses of action.

The basic predicament facing Sudan’s rulers today—irrespective of whether they are soldiers, paramilitaries, civilian technocrats or civilian politicians—is that they have neither the material resources nor the skills and reputation to manage a political marketplace based on mercenarized paramilitarism and crony capitalism, but also do not have the means to transform it.

For Sudanese democrats, the picture is discouraging. However, it is critically important for democratic activists to analyze correctly the forces arraigned against them, and the structural crisis of the Sudanese political economy. Such an analysis will help in identifying potential allies and potentially successful strategies for promoting change. An open discussion about the nature of political power in Sudan today is a pre-requisite for a successful movement for democracy. This analysis is presented as a contribution to that debate.

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