Peace and Peacemaking in Sudan and South Sudan
Opening Making and Breaking Peace in Sudan and South Sudan, this chapter introduces the book’s key concepts: peace and peacemaking. The contributions in this volume show that ideas of peace have been contested in the Sudans, and that different modalities of peacemaking have both gone together and have competed with each other. This chapter draws on these contributions in order critically to interrogate diverse ideas of peace and practices of peacemaking that have been prevalent in the Sudans. It connects them to their roots in major traditions in political thought and sets out why they are often problematic when applied to complex conflicts such as in the Sudans. Rather than arguing for one specific understanding of peace or modality of peacemaking, this chapter explains why the volume has taken a perspectival approach. Adopting the vantage points of multiple different actors, a perspectival approach foregrounds on-the-ground contestations over different ideas of peace and modes of peacemaking. Understanding what peacemaking has come to mean in the Sudans – how different understandings of peace have been deployed, but also contested, in the processes of ‘making’, and with what effects – allows scholars and practitioners to reconsider prospects for peace in the region, and well beyond.
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