HDR Candidate: Mark Deng

Advisors: Dr Caitlin Goss (Principal) and Prof Graeme Orr (Associate)

Title: Constitutional Transformations: Failure and Opportunity in Post-Independence South Sudan

Abstract: A constitution serves many purposes for a state, one of which is to establish and regulate a particular political order. That is, it establishes a governmental system, sets the powers of government, and places limits on those powers. The Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan was enacted to serve this very purpose for the new nation. However, as the Transitional Constitution sought to concentrate power in the hands of president, it not only failed to serve as a basis for a democratic system of government for the country, it has also become a source of political instability and disunity among the people of South Sudan. The aim of this thesis is to examine the constitutional failure in South Sudan with a view to identifying opportunities to undertake constitutional transformation in the country. While many scholars have explored the constitutional development in South Sudan, none has looked at the subsequent constitutional failure and its debilitating effects on the country’s political economy. Therefore, this thesis will be the first major study to explore and address this issue. The overarching research question of this thesis is how best to undertake constitutional transformation in South Sudan.