Written by Sharon Hutchinson

Violence, Legitimacy, and Prophecy: Nuer Struggles with Uncertainty in South Sudan

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Contemporary South Sudanese Nuer prophets play powerful roles in interpreting the moral limits of lethal violence and weighing the legitimacy claims of rival government leaders. Their activities remain largely invisible to external observers investigating the making and unmaking of fragile states. Focusing on South Sudan’s tumultuous 2005–14 period, this article reveals these hidden dynamics through analysis…

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A Curse from God? Religious and Political Dimensions of the Post-1991 Rise of Ethnic Violence in South Sudan

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Foregrounding the historical experiences and grassroots perspectives of Nuer civilian populations in the Upper Nile region, this article (2001) shows how elite competition within the southern military has combined with the political machinations of the national Islamic government in Khartoum to create a wave of inter- and intra-ethnic factional fighting so intense and intractable that…

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Nuer Ethnicity Militarized

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This article is concerned with the rapid polarization and militarization of Nuer/Dinka ethnic identities. It discusses some of the historical conditions that led to the abrupt, post-1991, abandonment of ethical restraints on Nuer/Dinka violence previously respected by both sets of combatants. Link to publication

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Sudan’s Prolonged Second Civil War and The Militarization of Nuer and Dinka Ethnic Identities

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Ever since power struggles within the Sudan People’s Liberation Army split the movement into two warring factions in August 1991, rural Nuer and Dinka communities of the South have been grappling with a deepening regional subculture of ethnicized violence. This article (1999) describes political factors that have pro- longed this bitter conflict into the present…

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Nuer Dilemmas: Coping with Money, War, and the State

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Through the pioneering efforts of the famed British anthropologist E. E. Evans-Pritchard, the Nuer of southern Sudan have become one of anthropology’s most celebrated case studies. Now Sharon Hutchinson combines fresh ethnographic evidence and contemporary theoretical perspectives to show not only what has happened to the Nuer since their 1930s encounters with Evans-Pritchard, but, more…

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