New Link for YSI Africa Webinar

Decolonisation, Economic Development & State Formation

YSI Africa is delighted to announce its first webinar for 2018. This will be in form of a book presentation titled: Transforming Sudan: Decolonisation, Economic Development and State Formation, by our own Alden Young, Assistant Professor of History and Director of the Africana Studies Program, Drexel University, Philadelphia.

Friday, 2nd February, 2018.

4:00pm GMT (11:00 EDT; 17:00 CET)

To attend this meeting, use the link:

Transforming Sudan: Decolonisation, Economic Development and State Formation, was published in November 2017 by Cambridge University Press (Africa Series). It offers a historically grounded account of policymaking in postcolonial Africa. It challenges social scientists’ common perception of the post-colonial African state as rapacious and predatory with institutions that serve little other purpose besides patronage and legitimation. In the place of this narrative, it argues that Sudanese policymakers and officials like their peers across the decolonizing world believed in the potential of the postcolonial state to solve social questions in the public interest.

Alex De Waal gave the book advanced praise: "Today, a technocratic, economistic vision of a modern Sudan is a half-remembered dream. Alden Young’s superb book – a combination of political economy and cultural history – brings into focus the important but neglected story of how the country was once a model of planned development, led by an elite of Sudanese and British economists."

Author's Biography
Alden Young is a political and economic historian of Africa. He is particularly interested in the ways in which Africans participated in the creation of the current international order. Since 2014, he has been an assistant professor in African History and the Director of the Africana Studies Program at Drexel University. He received his Ph.D. in 2013 from Princeton University. He then served for two years as a Dean’s Mellon Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow in the Department of Africana Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. In 2017 he published an article in Humanity entitled: “African Bureaucrats and the Exhaustion of the Developmental State: Lessons from the Pages of the Sudanese Economist,” which uses Sudanese journals to demonstrate how developmentalism gave way in Sudan to austerity.

We look forward to having you in this discussion.