Career Biography

“Anthropological sensibility and a perspective that begins with local perspectives, informs my critique of international policies and practices, including aid.” – Alex de Waal

Alex de Waal has been involved in African politics for over 25 years and has extensively studied the politics of Sudan and Darfur. In addition to having published fourteen books, de Waal has been a member of several human rights organizations whose missions directly affect Sudanese civilians.  As a result, he has carefully considered the Sudanese people and their circumstances.

We chose Alex de Waal as our ethnographer because of his extensive experience in the field of African politics and social sciences. Though some people consider his views  controversial, we believe that with his anthropological background as well as his work in Sudan is thorough and considers local, global, and political perspectives of the conflict. For an article in the The Atlantic about Alex de Waal’s career click here: The Atlantic: 2009.

 Although he may not have addressed the subjects of Sudanese refugees and Lost Boys directly, Alex de Waal is an expert on the factors that lead to forced migration and resettlement, and emergency response. His 1988 article in the Journal of Refugee Studies titled: “Refugees and the Creation of Famine: The Case of Dar Masalit, Sudan” and his 2005 book, “Famine that Kills: Darfur, Sudan,” address the roots of the conflicts in Sudan and especially the “social disruption” that occurs as a result.

Below is a video in which de Waal recounts his own extensive experience with the conflict in Sudan while also presenting an in-depth analysis of the crisis and the impact on civilians.