Darfur Colonial Violence Sultanic Legacies and Local

This work engages with a fundamental question in the study of African history and politics to what extent did the colonial state re define the character of local politics in the societies it governed? Existing scholarship on Darfur under the Anglo Egyptian Condominium 1916 1956 has suggested that colonial governance here represented either straightforward continuity or utterly transformative change from the region's deep history of independent statehood under the Darfur Sultanate This book argues that neither view is adequate it shows that British rule bequeathed a culture of governance to Darfur which often rested on state coercion and violence but which was also influenced by enduring local conceptions of the relationship between ruler and ruled and the agendas of local actors The state was perceived as a resource as well as a threat by local peoples Although the British did introduce significant changes to the character of governance in Darfur local populations negotiated the significance of these innovations challenging the authority of state appointed chiefs defying official attempts to police the boundaries of ethnic territories and competing for the resources of political support and development that the state represented Even the violence of the state was shaped and channelled by the initiative of local elites Finally the author suggests that contemporary conflict and politics in the region must be understood in the context of this deeper history of interaction between state and local agendas in shaping everyday realities of power and governance Chris Vaughan is Lecturer in African History at Liverpool John Moores University Previously he taught at the Universities of Durham Leeds Liverpool and Edinburgh His articles have appeared in the Journal of African Historyand the Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History He is co editor with Lotje De Vries and Mareike Schomerus of The Borderlands of South SudanThis work engages with a fundamental question in the study of African history and politics to what extent did the colonial state re define the character of local politics in the societies it governed? Existing scholarship on Darfur under the Anglo Egyptian Condominium 1916 1956 has suggested that colonial governance here represented either straightforward continuity or utterly transformative change from the region's deep history of independent statehood under the Darfur Sultanate This book argues that neither view is adequate it shows that British rule bequeathed a culture of governance to Darfur which often rested on state coercion and violence but which was also influenced by enduring local conceptions of the relationship between ruler and ruled and the agendas of local actors The state was perceived as a resource as well as a threat by local peoples Although the British did introduce significant changes to the character of governance in Darfur local populations negotiated the significance of these innovations challenging the authority of state appointed chiefs defying official attempts to police the boundaries of ethnic territories and competing for the resources of political support and development that the state represented Even the violence of the state was shaped and channelled by the initiative of local elites Finally the author suggests that contemporary conflict and politics in the region must be understood in the context of this deeper history of interaction between state and local agendas in shaping everyday realities of power and governance Chris Vaughan is Lecturer in African History at Liverpool John Moores University Previously he taught at the Universities of Durham Leeds Liverpool and Edinburgh His articles have appeared in the Journal of African Historyand the Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History He is co editor with Lotje De Vries and Mareike Schomerus of The Borderlands of South SudanThis work engages with a fundamental question in the study of African history and politics to what extent did the colonial state re define the character of local politics in the societies it governed? Existing scholarship on Darfur under the Anglo Egyptian Condominium 1916 1956 has suggested that colonial governance here represented either straightforward continuity or utterly transformative change from the region's deep history of independent statehood under the Darfur Sultanate This book argues that neither view is adequate it shows that British rule bequeathed a culture of governance to Darfur which often rested on state coercion and violence but which was also influenced by enduring local conceptions of the relationship between ruler and ruled and the agendas of local actors The state was perceived as a resource as well as a threat by local peoples Although the British did introduce significant changes to the character of governance in Darfur local populations negotiated the significance of these innovations challenging the authority of state appointed chiefs defying official attempts to police the boundaries of ethnic territories and competing for the resources of political support and development that the state represented Even the violence of the state was shaped and channelled by the initiative of local elites Finally the author suggests that contemporary conflict and politics in the region must be understood in the context of this deeper history of interaction between state and local agendas in shaping everyday realities of power and governance Chris Vaughan is Lecturer in African History at Liverpool John Moores University Previously he taught at the Universities of Durham Leeds Liverpool and Edinburgh His articles have appeared in the Journal of African Historyand the Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History He is co editor with Lotje De Vries and Mareike Schomerus of The Borderlands of South Sudan