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The Economic Roots of Modern Sudan

Episode 466
with Alden Young hosted by Chris Gratien
As a site of recent civil wars, ethnic cleansing, and genocide, Sudan's history is often framed by violence. In this podcast, our guest Alden Young offers an alternative framing of Sudan's modern history, as we discuss Sudan's economy and its relationship to the broader Middle East from the 19th century onward. We discuss Sudan's unique experience of colonialism under Ottoman/Egyptian rule and how the issue of slavery intensified as Sudan's ties to Egypt and the broader Ottoman world intensified during the 19th century. We also discuss how colonial planners slowly reoriented Sudan's economy towards agricultural export and away from pastoralism. We explore the Gezira scheme, a long foretold irrigation project that would become the centerpiece of Sudanese economic development after independence during the 1950s. And we consider the fate of the class of Sudanese economists and technocrats who straddled the la…

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