UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO
Department of Political Science
Intensive POL Course (POL 498H/2801H1 F)
The Rudderless State: Political Crisis and Civil Wars in Sudan
Professor Taisier Ali
(Ph.D., University of Toronto)
Director, Peacebuilding Centre for the Horn of Africa (PCHA), Asmara, Eritrea
For decades, political observers, within and outside Sudan, viewed the country’s ethnic, cultural, religious and geographic diversity as a microcosm of Africa. Others considered it a “bridge” linking Middle Eastern and African Arabs with black Africa. Such images have been shattered by the January 2011 Referendum in South Sudan in which 98% voted in favor of secession and the creation of a new sovereign state. South Sudan’s independence has emboldened calls for self-determination in other Northern war-torn and marginalized communities of Darfur, Blue Nile, Nuba Mountains, Eastern Sudan and the extreme Northern Nubian territories. Khartoum’s dependence on oil exports and its neglect of agriculture, industry and other resources, raise doubts about the economic future of North Sudan without the oil revenue accounting for eighty percent of state treasury, owned after July 2011 by the newly born Republic of South Sudan. More questions are worth considering: In view of Khartoum’s history of broken promises, will the NCP honor the peace agreement it had signed or will it continue fanning the flames of war by financing and arming local militias in the south and elsewhere? Will the NCP be prepared to negotiate power and wealth sharing arrangements with the remaining regions of the country? Will the NCP reconsider its management of Sudan’s ethnic, cultural and religious diversity? Will the breakaway of South Sudan contribute to regional stability and peaceful coexistence between and within the two new sovereign states; or, the civil war will linger on albeit through other means?
· Demonstrated knowledge of subject matter and active participation in course discussions (25%)
· Presentation on a relevant subject (15%)
· Research essay (3000 words, not including notes and bibliography) (60%)
This intensive course is open to ten (10) 4th-year POL undergraduate students (pending Departmental approval) and ten (10) graduate students, including students from the Munk School of Global Affairs. This course counts as a half credit course and comprised of eight (8) three-hour sessions as follows:
Schedule: Tuesday, October 9, 2012, 4:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Wednesday, October 10, 2012, 4:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Thursday, October 11, 2012, 4:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Friday, October 12, 2012, 4:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Tuesday, October 16, 2012, 4:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Wednesday, October 17, 2012, 4:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Thursday, October 18, 2012, 4:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Friday, October 19, 2012, 4:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Location: Sidney Smith Hall, Room 3130
Eligibility and Enrolment procedures:
- Applications: Undergraduate students who are interested in taking the course (POL 498H1 F) should submit a copy of their academic record (a printout from ROSI would be fine) with a request to take the course to Elizabeth Jagdeo, Undergraduate Office, Department of Political Science, Sidney Smith Hall Room 3027.
- Deadline: No later than 5 p.m., Monday, August 20, 2012.
- Because of the intensive nature of the course, undergraduate students are expected to have at least a 3.0 CGPA.
- Results: Students will be notified by the department by Monday, August 27, 2012.
- Graduate students who are interested in taking the course (POL 2801H) should contact Carolynn Branton, Graduate Administrator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Taisier M. Ali, B.A., M.A., Ph.D. (UofT)
Taisier Ali studied at the Universities of Khartoum and Toronto where he received a doctorate in the Political Economy of Underdevelopment. As an associate professor at the University of Khartoum, he was invited to lecture at the universities of Addis Ababa, Cairo, Makerere, Dar al Salaam, Asmara, York and Toronto. For over two decades, he has been involved in attempts to end civil wars in Sudan. In 1985, he was assigned by the Sudanese Trade Union Alliance (TUA) to administer peace talks with the Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A). From 1986 until the military coup of 1989 he was seconded from the University of Khartoum to the Sudanese Cabinet as coordinator for the Ministerial Peace Committee. Following the 1989 military coup in Sudan, his refusal to join the Cabinet led to periods of detention and eventual dismissal from the University by a decree of the Sudanese Army “Revolution Command Council”. In 1994 he was invited to testify before the Africa Subcommittee of the U.S. Congress in a hearing on Sudan’s Civil War. For several years following 1996, he headed the political department of the democratic resistance movement, Sudan Alliance Forces (SAF), which in 2004 merged with the SPLM/A. In 2000, he represented the Sudanese opposition umbrella organization, National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in the peace talks in Kenya. Since 2005, Taisier Ali has been full-time Director of an independent non-governmental institution, the Peacebuilding Centre for the Horn of Africa (PCHA), based in Asmara, Eritrea that engages in capacity building training for grassroots organization from Eastern Sudan, Darfur and Somalia. He has published on the political economy of underdevelopment in Sudan and the processes of domination, resistance, conflict resolution, peacebuilding and crisis of the state in Africa.