Event Detail

Daniel Bromley

Economic Development in Stateless Nations: Lessons from South Sudan—and a Warning For Afghanistan

Presented by:
Daniel Bromley
Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics
Univeristy of Wisconsin-Madison

Thursday, September 23, 2021
3:45 pm-5:00 pm
Taylor-Hibbard Seminar Room (Rm103)
Online - https://go.wisc.edu/esfdvx

The recent crisis in Afghanistan serves as a warning that efforts to bring about “economic development” first require the existence of a coherent state. In this talk I will share the troubled account of South Sudan as it struggles to become a functioning state. South Sudan was created in 2011 to escape strict Islamic rule in Sudan. The international community was anxious to liberate Christian and traditional believers from Islamic rule, but since independence, the usual international donors have refused to offer development assistance to the young nation. It now stands “orphaned.” It is, along with Somalia, the most corrupt nation in the world. Its per capita national income is less than $1.00 per day. Oil revenue provides 85% of the national budget, and accounts for 60 percent of GDP. It seems to be a “failed state.” But, it is worse than that. South Sudan may be a nation, but it is not yet a state. Ten years beyond independence, donors still refuse to be of assistance. I will clarify the properties of a functioning state, link those properties to the historic experience of development in western Europe (and elsewhere), and offer a few observations about the problematic future of Afghanistan.