The traditional Nuer political system has single recognized chief to run it and exclusive judiciary to control it. Rather, persons are divided among political units without any single administrative hierarchy of officials and without any single person to direct all of the common affairs of the society. Although the Nuer lack the machinery of centralized government, this does t lead to mere anarchy and indiscriminate violence. There are regulative ideas at work-being acted upon-which are constitutive of a way of life. Though this book is about the Nuer of Southern Sudan, it speaks to many peoples and governments in Africa. This book is also an effort to elaborate on how Nuer of Southern Sudan maintain and cope with rules violations without a head or single source of authority. Understanding of the ideas in which a people have recourse in their local environment, the language they use, and how they marshal activities is important in constituting a self-governance order. How Nuer in their local communities organized themselves as largely automous local government units, the way power was used to make and implement collective decisions, enforce rules and resolve conflicts can provide kwledge to other communities in some parts of Sudan and Africa.
Wal Duany, Ph.D. was born in Akobo, Upper Nile, Sudan. He received his M.A. degree in International Politics with a concentration in the Middle East from Syracuse University, and his Ph.D. from a joint Ph.D. program of the Department of Political Science and School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Indiana University. He has held a number of positions in the Government of Sudan.