In: State-building South Sudan
Sara de Simone
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This book owes much to all those who supported my work during my PhD and provided invaluable feedback on my ideas and writings. In the first place, I would like to thank my two PhD supervisors at the University of Naples “L’Orientale” and the University of Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne, Maria Cristina Ercolessi and Johanna Siméant, who have, in various ways, supported and encouraged my work over the years. However, many other people contributed with feedback on specific parts of my PhD thesis, and their comments have informed the work of turning it into this book. In particular, I would like to thank Sharon E. Hutchinson, whose work on the Nuer was of vital importance during my first visit to Bentiu in 2010, and who contributed to Chapter 2 with eight pages of comments that significantly improved and added nuance to my arguments; Goran Hyden, who commented extensively on a paper I presented at the Nordic Africa Days in Uppsala in 2014 and which later became part of Chapter 5; and Ivor Chipkin, who contributed to Chapter 4 with challenging questions about the nature of the state and of service delivery in Southern Sudan.

The help and the material support of several organizations and friends also made an invaluable contribution to this book. First, the Italian NGO Mani Tese provided me with logistical support during most of my fieldwork. Bruna Sironi, the then country representative for South Sudan, was the very first person to introduce me to the country and sent me to Bentiu in 2010 as an intern. Two other Italian NGO s also contributed to my stay in South Sudan: InterSOS (particularly Luisa and Osman), whose compound became my home in Bentiu in early 2013; and CUAMM, whose staff hosted me in Yirol in December 2013. The Comboni missionaries in Rumbek and Mapuordit helped me with accommodation and transport issues during my stay in Lakes State in late 2013. And speaking about accommodation, I cannot neglect to mention Marina, Laetitia and Irene who, at various times, hosted me in Juba – an invaluable help to a PhD student, as anyone who knows Juba accommodation prices would tell.

I would like to thank the many South Sudanese friends with whom, over the years, I have shared my thoughts and doubts, and who helped me look at their country a little through their own eyes: Mafer, James, Machien, Isaac, Abednego, Galuak, John, Simon, Juma, Michael and many more. A special thank you also goes to the Department of Social Sciences of the University of Juba and to Professors Samson Wassara and Nelson Leben Moro, both for our stimulating discussions and for facilitating my last fieldtrip to South Sudan.

Finally, I would like to thank my family for their patience with all my many weird manifestations of stress and tiredness, particularly in the final weeks of writing.

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