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Taxation, Local Government and Social Control in Sudan and South Sudan, 1899-1956

BENSON, MATTHEW,STERLING (2019) Taxation, Local Government and Social Control in Sudan and South Sudan, 1899-1956. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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This dissertation provides evidence of at least five ways in which taxes in the Anglo-Egyptian Condominium’s peripheries were primarily used as a ‘technology of government’ to socially control these vast regions. The first is that rather than revenue raising, taxes in the peripheries acted as a glue to bargain with, and purchase support from, customary authorities who were willing to collaborate with the new colonial regime. A second way in which taxes were a technology of government included how they contributed to the state’s efforts to ‘render a realm into discourse as a knowable, calculable and administrable object’. This meant making customary authorities in the territory legible to the state on terms that the British understood, even as the state failed to ‘know’ the majority of people in the peripheries and even deployed anthropologists to obtain this knowledge.

The third way taxes were tied to social control was through their role constructing the peripheries to in turn make them more ‘legible’ to the British. The fourth manner in which taxes contributed to social control was by centralising power in the national government rather than sharing it across the territory. All of which inform the fifth way in which taxes contributed to the state’s social control over the peripheries, whereby the levers to define local knowledge about these dynamics were primarily held by the central government. In sum, this dissertation’s findings collapse the differences between the peripheries, which have primarily been drawn along religious or ethnic cleavages in Sudan. Instead, it reveals a coherent relationship between the geographically small centre and the considerably larger peripheries.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:South Sudan, Africa, Public Authority, Local Governance, Local Government, Government, Conflict, Revenue, Tax, Revenue Mobilisation, State Formation, State-Building, International Development, African Economic History, Economic History, Domestic Revenue Mobilisation, Chieftaincy
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Arts and Humanities > History, Department of
Thesis Date:2019
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:28 Feb 2020 10:10

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