Rebecca Glade

  • Fellowship year:2022-2023
  • University: Columbia University
  • Dissertation Topic/Category: Africa and Middle East
  • Dissertation Title: Sudanese Political Movements and the Struggle for the State: 1964-1985
  • Sudanese Political Movements and the Struggle for the State: 1964-1985 examines opposition movements focusing on early independence Sudan. It begins following the 1964 October Revolution in which a civil uprising led by students, unions, and civil society at large ousted President Ibrahim Abboud through peaceful protest in an event that changed the nature of political engagement and defined understandings of citizenship and political opposition for decades to come. Following 1964, a host of political movements including Communists, Islamists, sectarian parties, and regional rebel movements all acted with the knowledge that change to the political system—even the removal of the President—was possible and could be done again. These movements built mass followings and engaged in different forms of confrontation with a changing regime, not only altering the policies of the state but defining what forms of politics were seen as reasonable and worthy of recognition. Sudanese Political Movements and the Struggle for the State draws on state produced documents located in the Sudanese National Records Office and the South Sudan National Archives, including meeting minutes of the Sovereign Council and daily security reports, Sudanese media, and British diplomatic reporting in the UK National Archives to describe these contestations. This history of state building, told through the state’s relationships to non-state actors, builds upon historically engaged studies of Africa and the Middle East to discuss the nature of state power and the ways the state changed over time. It argues that these confrontations functioned as an iterative process that both altered the state as well as the larger political system in which the government was a dominant, yet not all-consuming actor.