State Fragility, Regime Survival and Spoilers in South Sudan


This paper draws on the notion of state fragility in three dimensions – Authority failures, Service delivery failures and Legitimacy failures as developed by Stewart and Brown. Using Stewart and Brown’s analysis of fragile states, the authors examine how recent events in South Sudan push the country into being the most fragile state. In furthering this three-dimensional approach, we attempt two important questions. How has South Sudan succumbed to fragility since attaining independence? Who influences peace in the country? The authors grapple with these questions by investigating events in South Sudan from the period of signing the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA 1 2005), independence in 2011, signing CPA 2 in 2015 up to present. The paper singles out the desire for regime survival as the major cause of fragility. The authors further argue that insecurity and instability are exacerbated by spoiling behaviour of certain powers and individuals, whose activities undermine state authority and creates disorder.


South Sudan; fragility; regime survival; spoilers; failed states

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