Buying and selling politics: the political marketplace and its adversaries

Season 1, Episode 2,   Jul 29, 2020, 12:26 PM

What's the relationship between corruption and organised violence?

Countries experiencing intractable conflict often exhibit high levels of corruption. Politics becomes a question of buying and selling support amongst interest groups, not serving the public interest. And violence can be used as a negotiating tactic to access more resources in the market. 

In this podcast, we introduce the idea of the political marketplace as a way of understanding the relationship between politics and organised violence in twenty-first century conflicts. This is a term which we use on the Conflict Research Programme to discuss the nature of the challenge facing democratic politics in societies prone to violence. We show the contrast between this idea and its opposite: the developmental state. We use Somalia, Sudan and South Sudan as examples of political marketplace societies. And we conclude by analysing the possibilities for a break with marketplace politics: the overthrow of Al-Bashir in Sudan. 

Featuring professor Alex de Waal (Tufts University, LSE and the World Peace Foundation), Aditya Sarkar, a researcher at Tufts University and the World Peace Foundation, and Raga Makawi, a Sudanese civil society activist. 

This podcast series has been funded by the UK Department of International Development as part of the Conflict Research Programme.

Producers: Luke Cooper, Azaria Morgan
Sound editor: Ben Higgins Millner

Intro music: The Drama by Rafael Krux (used for education purposes under Creative Commons License).