PSRP Country Summary: South Sudan

The Political Settlements Research Programme is working on a number of initiatives and publications relating to inclusive peace making and sustainable peace in South Sudan, including digital platforms for peace, data visualisations, publications, and blogs. To learn more, browse our key outputs on Sudan and South Sudan below.

Key Publications & Resources


Sudan’s Enduring Transition: Evolving Arrangements after the Fall of Bashir

The Sudanese uprising has reached its first goal. After four months of peaceful yet persistent protests, long-term military ruler Omar al-Bashir was ousted after over a quarter of a century in power. A broad and civil-society-based movement has triggered his downfall. The movement was, however loosely, organised by the Sudanese Professional Association (SPA), founded in 2016 as an umbrella organisation of the traditionally strong trade unions, and other hitherto little-known initiatives. The security apparatus, especially the Sudanese military, Bashir’s natural home and traditional stronghold, contributed to the fall of to the regime by turning against him in the aftermath of a global action day declared by the Sudanese opposition.

In this PA-X report, Jan Pospisil examines the new political players and new political culture brought about by the Sudanese uprising, and sets out how the movement’s distinctive features offer significant opportunities for the transitional process. The paper sets out the characteristics of the Sudanese uprising, explains the key actors in the transition, and offers three possible options for transitional pathways in the interim period.


"No condition is permanent" - graffiti in Yei, South SudanThe South Sudanese Peace Agreement and the Issue of States

With peace negotiations in South Sudan currently stalled, Dr Jan Pospisil examines the states question – the number of regional states South Sudan should contain and their territorial delineation. The states problem, and the question of the organisation of the South Sudanese polity in general, has been an issue of permanent contestation since South Sudan’s independence. The question of the number of states and their territorial delineation emerges as the catalyst of two parallel intertwined logics of the South Sudanese political power game: the logic of the political marketplace and the logic of ethnopolitics.


Sudan and South Sudan: Violence Trajectories after Peace Agreements

This report asks whether peace agreements resolve, reshape or perpetuate existing patterns of violence. Peace agreements can be turning points in complex transitions from war to peace. But they don’t necessarily lead to greater stability, let alone peace. This report explores trajectories of violence in Sudan and South Sudan after the signature of peace agreements. It traces violence trajectories and explores whether these peace agreements resolved, reshaped or perpetuated existing patterns of violence.


Atrocity, Accountability, and Amnesty in a ‘Post-Human Rights World’?

The end of the Cold War and the political transitions in South America and Eastern Europe in the early 1990s led to significant developments in international law that sought to ensure greater accountability for perpetrators of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. In participating in the formulation of these legal obligations, states consented to limitations on their sovereign power to decide whether to prosecute perpetrators. By the late-2000s, it was commonplace to assert that the ‘Age of Accountability’ had arrived and that amnesties to shield war criminals and human rights abusers from prosecution and punishment would no longer be tolerated. However, in recent years, large-scale and horrific abuses have been perpetrated daily in Syria, Yemen, South Sudan, and other places, seemingly with little international effort to prevent or remedy them. This has led some to express concerns that the international community is abandoning the fight against impunity and, more worryingly, that we are entering a ‘post-human rights world’. In this lecture, Professor Louise Mallinder reflected on what her research on amnesty laws over the past decade and half tells us about the progress and challenges in the struggle against impunity.