background image Understanding Sudan


The Political Economy of Oil in Sudan


This module explores the dynamics of Sudan's oil industry and how it affects the post-civil war situation in the South, the six-year interim period of peace and the conflict in Darfur. It provides basic knowledge about the properties of oil, the operation of the global market and the patterns of oil extraction in Africa, and introduces concepts such as rent-seeking, corruption and the resource curse. Sudanese oil exploration, extraction and business are located within this overall context. To facilitate a deep appreciation for the complexities and contradictions inherent in the political economy of oil in Sudan, students will create and negotiate oil contracts and role-play different groups of Sudanese and foreigners involved in the sector.

Intriguing Questions

  1. As in many other places, is oil likely to be a curse rather than a blessing?
  2. Does it matter for the development of the Sudanese economy that important multinational oil companies in Sudan are from China, Malaysia and India rather than European and American firms?
  3. How are anthropologists contributing to verifying oil company policy, on the ground?
  4. How is localized global society ("glocal") promoting oil transparency?
  5. Do you have an intriguing question? Contact us.

    This teaching module is coordinated by Martha Saavedra

    Last Updated: May 1, 2009

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International and Area Studies ~ University of California, Berkeley ~ copyright 2009-2011