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The Sudan Handbook


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The Sudan Handbook, based on the Rift Valley Institute's successful Sudan Field Course, is an authoritative and accessible introduction to Sudan, vividly written and edited by leading Sudanese and international specialists.
The handbook offers a concise introduction to all aspects of the country, rooted in a broad historical account of the development of the Sudanese state. It consists of eighteen self-contained, cross-referenced chapters, covering essential topics in the geography, history, sociology, culture and politics of the country, written by outstanding Sudanese scholars and recognized international experts. It includes numerous purpose-drawn maps and diagrams, glossaries of key terms, capsule biographies of key figures, a chronology and a bibliography.

John Ryle, Rift Valley Institute and Division of Social Sciences, Bard College, USA; Justin Willis, Department of History, Durham University, UK and former Director of the British Institute in Eastern Africa; Suliman Baldo, International Center for Transitional Justice, New York, International Crisis Group; Jok Madut Jok, Department of History, Loyola Marymount University, USA.

Published in association with the Rift Valley Institute


Diplomats, aid workers and development workers heading for a tour of duty , in either of the Sudans, or both, should certainly read this collection of well written and informative essays. LAWFARE

Very useful. [...] As a vehicle to introduce one to all things Sudanese, it succeeds very well and is to be highly recommended. AFRICAN AFFAIRS

A collection of readable, thought-provoking and intelligent essays that together provide a thorough introduction to Sudan and South Sudan. [...] It will be invaluable to anyone who does not have a deep prior knowledge. SUDAN STUDIES

This witness to all that was bad in the past [...] and the celebration of all that is good, such as the new nation's vibrant culture and economic prospects, belongs in all African studies libraries. Essential. CHOICE

CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title


First Published: 19 May 2011
13 Digit ISBN: 9781847010308
20 line drawing illustrations
Pages: 240
Size: 23.4 x 15.6
Binding: Paperback
Imprint: James Currey
BIC Class: GTB

Details updated on 05 Oct 2015


  • 1  Introduction: Many Sudans
  • 2  Land & water
  • 3  Early states on the Nile
  • 4  Peoples & cultures of the two Sudans
  • 5  Religious practice & belief
  • 6  The ambitions of the State
  • 7  From the country to the town
  • 8  From slaves to oil
  • 9  Sudan's fragile state, 1956-1989
  • 10  Islamism & the state
  • 11  Traditional authority, local government & justice
  • 12  Twentieth-century civil wars
  • 13  The war in the west
  • 14  A short history of Sudanese popular music
  • 15  Sudan's regional relations
  • 16  The international presence in Sudan
  • 17  The past & future of peace
  • 18  Epilogue: The next Sudan
  • 19  Appendices: Chronology - Key figures in Sudanese history, culture & politics