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Peacemaking referendums: the use of direct democracy in peace processes

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The use of referendums to forge, ratify and enact peace agreements is on the rise. In growing numbers, peacemakers have organized referendums in order to aid peace talks and ameliorate post-settlement peacebuilding. Despite this increasingly common practice, there is little consensus on whether referendums help or hurt peace. Such votes can be uniquely powerful tools…

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A State of Contradiction: Sudan’s Unity Goes South

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South Sudan’s secession was either an unavoidable outcome of a post-colonial betrayal of political promises or a surprising result of muddled and contradictory developments during which, at crucial points, dynamics nonetheless aligned. It was, this chapter argues, because of these contradictions that South Sudan came into being: from its colonial past through a series of…

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Learning from Sudan’s 2011 Referendum

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This report is based on research conducted in Khartoum, Juba, Washington, and elsewhere in the aftermath of Sudan’s 2011 referendum. It seeks to answer a simple question: Why was the 2011 referendum on the secession of southern Sudan largely peaceful despite predictions for renewed civil war? The report examines possible answers and attempts to formulate…

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Southern Sudan At The Crossroads: Citizen Expectations, Aspirations and Concerns about the Referendum and Beyond

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Based on focus group interviews, this report examines attitudes and concerns of Southern Sudanese citizens about the referendum planned for 2011, as well as the April 2010 elections. As with all NDI public opinion studies, participants were also asked about their views on government performance, development, security, corruption, the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) and related…

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CSRF SOUTH SUDAN