South Sudan: Archaic Nescience Unleashed*

The South Sudan Liberation Army, apparently armed by the Sudanese government, has been attacking the government of the newly independent South Sudan. Some observations about these stories:

  • No one thought it would be rainbows and leprechauns for South Sudan after independence. It’s extremely poor, highly oil-dependent, ethnically diverse, adjacent to countries that are all in the grip of significant internal violence, and likely headed for autocratic rule. You couldn’t imagine a better set of conditions for insurgency.
  • Still, the violence in South Sudan is to date several orders of magnitude lower than that experienced before the 2005 peace agreement that ultimately allowed the country to secede from Sudan.
  • Perils of generalizing from a single case: what’s really causing the insurgency in South Sudan? The Sudanese government blames “rigged elections” – but civil war research on global datasets shows little or no relationship between democracy and insurgency. The weakness of the South Sudan state and the availability of external funding are probably the dominant factors.

*The phrase comes from a Carcass song. Never mind that the “archaic nescience” theory of ethnic conflict is completely wrong; it’s still a nifty turn of phrase!

2 thoughts on “South Sudan: Archaic Nescience Unleashed*

    1. Vague Iron Maiden similarity, I’ll concede, at least in the main riff of that song – but with a lot more punch on the bottom end. The singer has a snarl-y voice. They were considered “melodic death metal” back in the early 90s due to the harsh vocals. They’ve long since broken up. Here’s a song that is lyrically a lot of fun for libertarians; it’s called “R**k the Vote”:
      http://www.songlyrics.com/carcass/rk-the-vote-lyrics/

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