Nationalism, State, and Identity Politics

  • Amir H. Idris


As I have argued in chapter 2, the construction of racial, ethnic, and regional identities in the Sudan is inherently related to the process of state formation in the region. For instance, precolonial legacies of slavery and the policy of indirect rule during the colonial period have contributed to racialization and fragmentation of cultural societies into conflicting political ones. The nature and content of the process of state formation not only transformed sociopolitical structures of societies, but also conditioned the form of resistance and opposition to the colonial and the postcolonial state. In addition to creation and invention of political identities, the process of state formation during the colonial period had contributed to economic and political inequalities between various ethnic groups. Coupled with the persistence and the institutionalization of ethnic identity as a criterion for economic, social, and political entitlements, the realization of inclusive citizenship in the postcolonial period has become impossible, if not unattainable.


Racial Identity Political Violence Colonial Period Military Regime Colonial State 
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  1. 3.
    See Dunstan Wai’s work (1984) in Issue: A Journal of Africanist Opinion, 13, p. 9.Google Scholar
  2. 9.
    Cited in Douglas Johnson, ed. (1998) British Documents on the End of Empire: Sudan, Part 1, 1942–1950, London: HMSO, see pp. 234–235; also see Hadarat al Sudan, June 25, 1924.Google Scholar
  3. 12.
    See Keith Kyle (1966) “The Southern Problem in the Sudan,” World Today, 22, p. 513.Google Scholar
  4. 24.
    For a recent study on contemporary slavery in the Sudan, see Jok, War and Slavery in Sudan; also see Africa Watch (1990) Denying the Honor of Living: Sudan A Human Rights Disaster, New York: Africa Watch, Human Rights Watch.Google Scholar

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© Amir H. Idris 2005

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  • Amir H. Idris

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