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Violence, authority, and the state in the Nuba Mountains of Condominium Sudan.

Willis, J. (2003) 'Violence, authority, and the state in the Nuba Mountains of Condominium Sudan.', Historical journal., 46 (1). pp. 89-114.


While British colonial rhetoric consistently identified tradition as the basis of legitimate authority, colonial practice actually produced far-reaching changes in the nature of government in Britain's African possessions. New institutions, and new holders of power, emerged in African societies in response to the particular needs of colonial administration. This article explores this transformation in one part of Condominium Sudan, which was effectively a British possession but which has often been excluded from historical discussions of the impact of colonialism because of its unique status. The Nuba Mountains have recently gained notoriety as a particularly bloody theatre of Sudan's long post-colonial civil war; while some have sought to explain this as the result of British policies which encouraged racial antagonism, the article suggests that here, as elsewhere in Africa, the real legacy of colonial rule was the creation of new kinds of local government which sat uneasily with enduring local ideas of spiritual power and proper authority.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:British colonialism, Sudan, Local administration, Authority.
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Publisher statement:© Cambridge University Press 2003
Record Created:23 May 2008
Last Modified:18 May 2011 16:44

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