Political Participation in Sudan How Sudanese People Get Involved in Politics

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Yasir Awad Abdalla, Eltahir
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This research studies political participation in Sudan in relation to the socio-economic and political structures of the country to find how Sudanese people are get involved in politics. The research, thus, figures out the socio-economic determinants and frameworks that shape and explain the state of political participation in the country with the aim of finding out whether this participation is a general/popular or an elitist one? The research also investigates whether there is a geographical/cultural dimension to political participation in Sudan such that certain regions and/or communities are more involved in politics than others and why? Before this, the research endeavors to reconsider or rethink the concept of “political participation” beyond the abstractions of the classical and mainstream theories and approaches. The research adopts Situational Analysis, a new version of Grounded Theory which considers the socio-economic and political peculiarities of the country, to conduct field research in three sites: Khartoum, Upper Nile and South Kordofan states. When the mainstream definition of political participation applied, it is found that political participation in Sudan is an elitist rather than a popular kind of participation. There is a linear relationship between the socio-economic status of the person and his/her rank in the differential scale of participation. But when the Situational Analysis applied, it is found that the non-elites are highly engaged in the civic realm of politics, communal actions – not necessarily inside the formal governmental realm – for achieving communal ends. This communal mode of participation varies, according to differences in agenda, in the three research sites. In Khartoum, it is linked with modern civil society organizations caring, for instance, about gender, environment and human rights. In upper Nile state, it is linked with the southern social movement and takes to form of conflict against the center to achieve self-determination and “New Sudan”. In South Kordofan, this communal mode is directed toward basic needs satisfaction. Tribes, community-based organizations (CBOs) and national non-governmental organizations (NNGOs) work under this mode of participation to satisfy the post-conflict needs of the area. The research ends up with presenting “Empowered Deliberative Democracy/Participation” as a theoretical (as well as a practical) model. The model applies Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) to empower the ingredients of deliberative democracy found in communal mode of participation
Political, Participation , Sudan, Sudanese People, Get Involved ,Politics