When peace is pieces and war is wonderful an examination of narratives around violence, power and humanitarian aid a case study of south Sudan

Ferdinand von Habsburg-Lothringen, Fordham University

Abstract

This thesis is concerned with the long-term failure of significant aid investments to improve the circumstances of the population of South Sudan. South Sudan has experienced over three decades of violent conflict and despite an almost constant internal presence in that region the situation for the population has deteriorated by almost every conceivable metric. ^ I argue that an important factor for deterioration is the extreme differences in the narratives established and maintained by different stakeholders. I focus on a single event that occurred in Jonglei State in late 2011: the march of thousands of Lou-Nuer through Pibor County who carried widespread destruction and killing over a three week period despite attempts by international agencies and the central government to prevent this. In analysing the ways in which the different actors interpreted and described these events — both in terms of factual content, moral judgment and fundamental conceptualizations — it is possible to see the extreme barriers to achieving what are held to be universally desirable goals in the region: peace, security, development and human flourishing. ^ The paper describes the history of aid in South Sudan and in Jonglie state and examines the various stakeholders and their interests, motivations and narratives. I examine the way in which different groups understand the idea of “successful aid” and “impact” based both on literature review and on my personal experience over two decades in the region. The paper ends by calling into question the value of humanitarian aid as it is currently delivered.^

Subject Area

African studies|International relations|Political science

Recommended Citation

von Habsburg-Lothringen, Ferdinand, "When peace is pieces and war is wonderful an examination of narratives around violence, power and humanitarian aid a case study of south Sudan" (2015). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI1600838.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI1600838

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