SUDAN BREAKS APART: NORTHERN AND SOUTHERN SUDAN'S PROSPECT FOR PEACE THROUGH DEMOCRACY
Debesai, Rita Z.
Smaldone, Joseph P
SUDAN BREAKS APART: NORTHERN AND SOUTHERN SUDAN'SPROSPECT FOR PEACE THROUGH DEMOCRACYRita Z. Debesai, B.A.MALS Mentor: Joseph P. Smaldone, Ph.D.ABSTRACTHas the call for Southern Sudan's independence referendum (conducted during January 9-15, 2011, resulting in the creation of the newly autonomous nation of Southern Sudan on July 9, 2011) been successful in promoting both domestic and regional peace in the war-torn country? If so, will the institutionalized form of democracy be a governing mechanism that maintains peace between the newly separated nations?The empirical claim that democracies are generally more peaceful internally and seldom go to war with one another has revolutionized the international relations community. The claim may also provide the newly divided Sudan an opportunity for peace. However, democracy does not happen immediately. This study is based on the democratic transition process in Africa and will show that the election process that causes countries like Sudan to remain in the transitional zone between an autocratic regime and a fully consolidated democratic government does not initially facilitate the development of peaceful domestic and international relations.By evaluating the history of Sudan and comparing its democratic transition process with those instituted in similar post conflict countries, Kenya and Cote d'Ivoire, this interdisciplinary study reveals that the sequence in which the institution of liberal rights and elections takes place depends on the issues inherent to the democratizing country. Serving as a warning to Africa's newly separated nation, this study looks to the citizens of Sudan and the international community to focus more on setting legally binding constraints on the government to maintain the will of the people while recognizing that elections, with time, can promote the democratic principles necessary for peace.
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