Between community and government
Traditional authorities in post-conflict Southern Sudan
In post-conflict settings, administrative structures are not installed in empty spaces. Rather, a variety of actors and strategic groups negotiate public authority, statehood and access to resources (Hagmann and Péclard 2010). This is the case in Southern Sudan: Different layers of former government institutions, traditional authorities, youth, women’s groups, political parties, NGOs, returnees and kinship networks are all engaged in current political dynamics. My research in Southern Sudan aims at studying the ways various actors are involved in the post-conflict transformation process in «local political arenas», which Bierschenk and Olivier de Sardan (1997: 441) define as «complex political configurations» where a variety of actors negotiate authority and statehood.