When Peace Kills Politics

International Intervention and Unending Wars in the Sudans

Sharath Srinivasan

A withering analysis of how ill-conceived, poorly executed interventionist peace deals often precipitate greater long term hostility.

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When Peace Kills Politics Paperback
February 2021£25.00
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Why do war and coercion still dominate the political realm in the Sudans, over a decade since the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, and despite a litany of conflict resolution efforts? This book explains the paradoxical role of international peacemaking in the reproduction of violence and political authoritarianism in Sudan and South Sudan.

Sharath Srinivasan charts the destructive effects of the peace process, from the role of north-south negotiations in fuelling war in Darfur, the Nuba Mountains and the Blue Nile to the failure of the political transformation promised by the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. Concluding with an analysis of peacebuilding’s contribution to South Sudan’s rapid descent into large-scale violence, he examines at close range how making peace has raised the political currency of violence.

This is an analysis of the perils of attempting to mould non-violent civil politics through neat designs and tools of compulsion, where the end goal of peace becomes caught up in constitutional texts, technocratic templates and deals on sharing spoils. When Peace Kills Politics shows that these methods, ultimately anti-political, will be resisted—violently—by dissatisfied local actors.


Sharath Srinivasan is the David and Elaine Potter Lecturer and Director of the Centre of Governance and Human Rights at the Department of Politics and International Studies, University of Cambridge. He is a Fellow of King’s College, Cambridge, and of the Rift Valley Institute.