Walraet (2011). Displacement
Download this report
This paper is about Southern Sudanese IDPs and refugees who, after the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement, chose not to return to their areas of origin, but instead to resettle elsewhere. Rather than exploring the push and pull factors of this decision, this paper documents the ways in which they have organised their lives in their places of post-war resettlement. More particularly, it explores their self employment strategies in an institutional context characterised by weak state regulation and high reliance on self-governance institutions, especially social networks. One observation in particular intrigued us: the fact that some displaced were more successful than others in making a living in their places of resettlement. Consequently, uncovering why some individuals and groups were wealthier than others inspired and structured the research. In order to understand the difference between “networks of survival” and “networks of accumulation” – a twin phrase we borrowed from Meagher (2006) – it was imperative to comprehend the economy as a political terrain and to explore the structural position of groups. To this end it was necessary to complement a social capital perspective with a political economy approach.