Law's Fragile State: Colonial, Authoritarian, and Humanitarian Legacies in Sudan (Cambridge Studies in Law and Society)

Law's Fragile State: Colonial, Authoritarian, and Humanitarian Legacies in Sudan (Cambridge Studies in Law and Society)

By: Mark Fathi Massoud (author)Hardback

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How do a legal order and the rule of law develop in a war-torn state? Using his field research in Sudan, the author uncovers how colonial administrators, postcolonial governments and international aid agencies have used legal tools and resources to promote stability and their own visions of the rule of law amid political violence and war in Sudan. Tracing the dramatic development of three forms of legal politics - colonial, authoritarian and humanitarian - this book contributes to a growing body of scholarship on law in authoritarian regimes and on human rights and legal empowerment programs in the Global South. Refuting the conventional wisdom of a legal vacuum in failed states, this book reveals how law matters deeply even in the most extreme cases of states still fighting for political stability.

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About Author

Mark Fathi Massoud is Assistant Professor in the Politics Department and Legal Studies Program at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He received the American Political Science Association Edward S. Corwin Award for the best dissertation in public law and the Law and Society Association Dissertation Prize. Massoud spent fifteen months in Sudan researching this book, including a year under a Fulbright-Hays fellowship.


1. Lawfare and warfare in Sudan; 2. The colonial path to the rule of law, 1898-1956; 3. Law in a state of crisis, 1956-89; 4. Authoritarian legal politics and Islamic law, 1989-2011; 5. Law and civil society, 1956-2011; 6. Humanitarian legal politics in an authoritarian state, 2005-11; 7. Reflections on legal politics.

Product Details

  • publication date: 27/05/2013
  • ISBN13: 9781107026070
  • Format: Hardback
  • Number Of Pages: 304
  • ID: 9781107026070
  • weight: 580
  • ISBN10: 1107026075

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