FERENC MARKO, then a graduate student at Central European University, Budapest, Hungary, was awarded funding in October 2012 to aid research on 'Red Tape Theater: The Creation of Citizens and Sovereignty in South Sudan,' supervised by Dr Dan Rabinowitz. This research investigated the bureaucratization of the state and the creation of the institution of citizenship in South Sudan. By focusing on the process of the documentation of the South Sudanese citizenry, the research asked: how is citizenship imagined, improvised, and performed? Furthermore, as the majority of the citizenship-applicants hold no reliable documentary evidence to prove their cases, the meaning of evidence was critically scrutinized as well. To answer the initial questions, the grantee carried out ethnographic fieldwork at the central citizenship office for eleven months, focusing on the daily bureaucratic practice. The ethnography of the citizenship office was supplemented by interviews with successful and unsuccessful applicants as well as with people involved in the application-process, such as professional fixers and forgers, 'traditional' chiefs, civil society activists, and church leaders. The study will contribute to the ethnography of South Sudan and Central Africa generally, and will develop our theoretical understanding of bureaucracy and citizenship.
Dissertation Fieldwork Grant
Central European U.
Marko, Ferenc, David, Central European U., Budapest, Hungary - To aid research on 'Red Tape Theater: The Creation of Citizens and Sovereignty in South Sudan,' supervised by Dr. Dan Rabinowitz