"This original and revealing book is a significant contribution to the understanding of the conflicts that have gripped the Sudan for decades and may well end only in the division of the country."--Peter Woodward, author of Sudan 1898-1989 and U.S. Foreign Policy in the Horn of Africa
A Civil Society Deferred chronicles the socio-political history and development of violence in the Sudan and explores how it has crippled the state, retarded the development of a national identity, and ravaged the social and material life of its citizens. It offers the first detailed case studies of the development of both a colonial and postcolonial Sudanese state and grounds the violence that grips the country within the conflict between imperial rule and a resisting civil society.
Abdullahi Gallab establishes his discussion around three forms of violence: decentralized (individual actors using targets as a means to express a particular grievance); centralized (violence enacted illegitimately by state actors); and "home-brewed" (violence among local actors toward other local actors). The Turkiyya, the Mahdiyya, the Anglo-Egyptian, and the postcolonial states have all taken each of these forms to a degree never before experienced. The same is true for the various social and political hierarchies in the country, the Islamists, and the opposing resistance groups and liberation movements.
These dichotomies have led to the creation of a political center that has sought to extend power and exploit the margins of Sudanese society. Drawing from academic, archival, and a variety of oral and written material, as well as personal experience, Gallab offers an original examination of identity and social formation in the region.
Abdullahi A. Gallab, assistant professor of African and African American religious studies at Arizona State University, is the author of The First Islamist Republic: Development and Disintegration of Islamism in the Sudan.
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"Provides a wealth of detail for the scholar of Sudan's colonial era."
"One of the virtues of Abdllahi Gallab's A CIVIL SCIETY DEFFERED lies in the author's mastery of a wide variety of theorists of historical causation and colonial constraint. The wealth of their insights has allowed him to rearrange largely familiar information about the Sudan into an original and impressive interpretive architecture… The book consciously joins and illuminates an extended ongoing discussion."
"Looking toward the future, perhaps the recognition of the deep historical roots of some longstanding and distinctively Sudanese governmental practices that have now become controversial will allow a thoroughgoing reconsideration and possible revision of civil rights and obligations in the new century. The invaluable insights of Abdullahi Gallab will certainly stimulate and faciliate the process."
--Dr. Jay Spaulding, African Arguments
"Gallab's approach to the subject matter is interdisciplinary, and he demonstrates a deep knowledge of the historical, economic, and theological elements that produced contemporary Sudan's state-society. Gallab also brings to the foreground long-neglected oral histories embedded in local folklore, which provide the reader unique insight into the sentiments of those who experienced the many wars that led to the emergence of modern Sudan."
"Gallab's book offers a panoramic view, at times dizzying in its detail, of the varios local traders known as jallaba as well as the regional and international middlemen and brokers known as Khartoumers…"
--Ruth Iyob, International Journal of Middle East Studies