Water, Civilisation and Power in Sudan

African Studies

Book 131
Cambridge University Press
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In 1989, a secretive movement of Islamists allied itself to a military cabal to violently take power in Africa's biggest country. Sudan's revolutionary regime was built on four pillars - a new politics, economic liberalisation, an Islamic revival, and a U-turn in foreign relations - and mixed militant conservatism with social engineering: a vision of authoritarian modernisation. Water and agricultural policy have been central to this state-building project. Going beyond the conventional lenses of famine, 'water wars' or the oil resource curse, Harry Verhoeven links environmental factors, development, and political power. Based on years of unique access to the Islamists, generals, and business elites at the core of the Al-Ingaz Revolution, Verhoeven tells the story of one of Africa's most ambitious state-building projects in the modern era - and how its gamble to instrumentalise water and agriculture to consolidate power is linked to twenty-first-century globalisation, Islamist ideology, and intensifying geopolitics of the Nile.
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About the author

Harry Verhoeven teaches African Politics at Oxford and is the founder and convenor of the University of Oxford China-Africa Network, as well as the founder of the Oxford Central Africa Forum. He has collaborated with UNDP Sudan, Chatham House, Greenpeace India, and Small Arms Survey and has lectured at ministries of foreign affairs, defence academies, and leading universities around the world. He has published in Civil War; Conflict, Security and Development, Development and Change, Geopolitics, the Journal of Eastern African Studies, the Journal of Modern African Studies, Middle East Policy, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, the Review of African Political Economy, and The Washington Quarterly. He has recently been appointed to a professorship in Comparative Politics and International Relations at Georgetown University, Washington DC.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Cambridge University Press
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Published on
Mar 5, 2015
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Pages
337
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ISBN
9781316240403
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Language
English
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Genres
Business & Economics / Development / Sustainable Development
Nature / Ecology
Nature / Natural Resources
Political Science / American Government / General
Political Science / General
Political Science / International Relations / General
Political Science / Political Process / General
Political Science / Public Affairs & Administration
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FEW TECHNOLOGICAL ACHIEVEMENTS are as impressive as the ability to see our own planet from outer space. The beautiful sphere suspended against the black void of space makes plain the bond that the billions of us on Earth have in common.

This global consciousness inspires space travellers who then provide emotional and spiritual observations. Their views from outer space awaken them to a grand realization that all who share our planet make up a single community. They think this viewpoint will help unite the nations of the world in order to build a peaceful future for the present generation and the ones that follow.

Many poets, philosophers, and writers have criticized the artificial borders that separate people preoccupied with the notion of nationhood. Despite the visions and hopes of astronauts, poets, writers, and visionaries, the reality is that nations are continuously at war with one another, and poverty and hunger prevail in many places throughout the world, including the United States.

So far, no astronaut arriving back on Earth with this new social consciousness has pro- posed to transcend the world's limitations with a world where no national boundaries exist. Each remains loyal to his/her particular nation-state, and doesn’t venture beyond patriotism - "my country, right or wrong" – because doing so may risk their positions.

Most problems we face in the world today are of our own making. We must accept that the future depends upon us. Interventions by mythical or divine characters in white robes descending from the clouds, or by visitors from other worlds, are illusions that cannot solve the problems of our modern world. The future of the world is our responsibility and depends upon decisions we make today. We are our own salvation or damnation. The shape and solutions of the future depend totally on the collective effort of all people working together.


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