Kings of Disaster

Kings of Disaster

Dualism, Centralism and the Scapegoat King in Southeastern Sudan

Studies in Violence, Mimesis & Culture

by Simon Simonse

Published by: Michigan State University Press

Imprint: Michigan State University Press

6.00 x 9.00 x 0.00 in

  • ISBN: 9781609175672
  • Published: May 2018


The long-awaited, revised, and illustrated edition of Simon Simonse’s study of the Rainmakers of the Nilotic Sudan marks a breakthrough in anthropological thinking on African political systems. Taking his inspiration from René Girard’s theory of consensual scapegoating, the author shows that the longstanding distinction of states and stateless societies as two fundamentally different political types does not hold. Centralized and segmentary systems only differ in the relative emphasis put on the victimary role of the king as compared with that of enemy. Kings of Disaster proposes an elegant and powerful solution to the vexed problem of regicide.