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Following the conclusion of the Second World War, the nature of inequality in Africa was dramatically altered. In this book, Alden Young traces the emergence of economic developmentalism as the ideology of the Sudanese state in the decolonization era. Young demonstrates how the state was transformed, as a result of the international circulation of tools of economic management and the practice of economic diplomacy, from the management of a collection of distinct populations, to the management of a national economy based on individual equality. By studying the hope and eventual disillusionment this ideology gave to late colonial officials and then Sudanese politicians and policymakers, Young demonstrates its rise, and also its shortfalls as a political project in Sudan, particularly its inability to deal with questions of regional and racial equity, not only showing how it fostered state formation, but also civil war.


'Today, a technocratic, economistic vision of a modern Sudan is a half-remembered dream. Alden Young’s superb book - a combination of political economy and cultural history - brings into focus the important but neglected story of how the country was once a model of planned development, led by an elite of Sudanese and British economists.'

Alex DeWaal - Tufts University, Massachusetts

'This is a compelling study of the imaginative, destructive projects of economic planning. Alden Young explains how officials in late colonial and independent Sudan came to imagine ‘the economy’ as a particular, measurable, phenomenon; how they sought to transform it through schemes of development - and how calamitous the consequences of those policies were for the people of Sudan. This book makes a major contribution to our understanding of Sudan’s history - and provides a salutary lesson for planners everywhere.'

Justin Willis - Durham University

'Young genuinely advances the literature on decolonization, development, and state formation. Transforming Sudan belongs on the bookshelf of every scholar of these related fields and will be of great interest to African and Middle Eastern historians, too.'

Cyrus Schayegh Source: H-IslamInAfrica

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  • Sudan Archive at Durham, UK (SAD)

  • R. J. Smith Collection SAD G//S 498/6/

  •  SAD 499/14/1–52/

  • W. N. Allen Collection SAD 593/8/1–61

  • J. W. Cummins Collection SAD G//S 636/1/

  •  SAD G//S 635/12/

  •  SAD G//S 635/14/

  • G. D. Lampen Collection SAD 732/8/

  •  SAD 768/8/

  •  SAD 768/9/

  • John Carmichael Collection SAD G//S 1166/1/1/

  •  SAD G//S 1166/1/2/

  •  SAD G//S 1166/1/3/

  •  SAD G//S 1166/1/4

  •  SAD G//S 1166/2/4/

  •  SAD G//S 1166/2/5/

  •  SAD G//S 1166/2/6

  •  SAD G//S 1166/2/7/

  •  SAD G//S 1166/3/1/

  •  SAD G//S 1166/3/5/

  •  SAD G//S 1166/4/6/

  •  SAD G//S 1166/4/7/

  • National Records Office at Khartoum, Sudan (NRO)

  •  Finance 3-A/25/1/2/

  •  Finance 3-A/28/4/ Equatoria Projects Board

  •  Finance 3-A/28/6/22

  •  Finance 3-A/28/8/ Cotton Statistics and International Cotton

  •  Fin 3-A/28/12/43/

  •  Finance 3-A/28/13/47/

  •  Finance 3-A/28/16/63

  •  Finance 3-A/42/1/2/

  •  Finance 3-A/42/1/3/

  •  Finance 3-A/42/1/4/

  •  Fin 3-A/42/2/5/

  •  Finance 3-A/42/3/10/

  •  Finance 3-A/59/1/2/.

  • The National Archives at Kew Gardens, UK (TNA)

  •  FO 371/80387

  •  FO 371/80404/

  •  FO 371/80531/.

  •  FO 371/96845/.

  •  FO 371/96947/.

  •  FO 371/97019/

  •  FO 371/102739/

  •  FO 371/102752/.

  •  FO 371/102753/.

  •  FO 371/102759/.

  •  FO 371/125959/.

  •  FO 371/125960/

  •  FO 371/150919

  •  FO 371/150965

  •  FO 371/163921

  •  FO 371/172364

  •  FO 371/178613

  •  FO 407/230/

  •  FO 407/232/

  •  FO 407/236/

  •  FO 407/237/

  • National Archives and Records Administration of the United States at College Park, MD (NARA)

  •  RG 59

  • World Bank Group Archive, Washington, DC (WBGA)

  • Records of the International Bank of Reconstruction and Development pertaining to Sudan

  • Administration

  • Negotiations

  • International Monetary Fund Archive, Washington, DC (IMF)

  • Memos to Members of the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund pertaining to Sudan and to Hamza Mirghani Hamza

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