restricted access African Bureaucrats and the Exhaustion of the Developmental State: Lessons from the Pages of the Sudanese Economist


Analysts often consider the postcolonial Sudanese state to be governed by an elite primarily interested in private accumulation rather than national development. This article demonstrates the existence of distinct development projects in postcolonial Sudanese history, which wax and wane. Developmental states can be distinguished from non-developmental states by whether political and policymaking elites are able to assert “the right to policymaking discretion.” The analysis of whether this discretion is present depends upon close archival readings of policy debates. Reading the pages of the Sudanese Economists it is possible to see the waning of the first Sudanese developmental state as the discourses of austerity and transparency replace those of growth and investment.