Date of Graduation

Winter 1-3-2012

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in International Studies


International Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Anne Bartlett



More than 870 million people across the world do not have enough to eat, 98 percent of them live in developing countries. While researchers disagree on the causes of hunger, they all agree that it is a pressing concern. South Sudan occupies some of the most fertile land with access to several major water sources -- all the ingredients for a thriving agriculture sector -- and yet, it is a net food importer. Worse, 60 percent of the population does not consume enough food to provide a nutritious diet. Why does a country with all the best natural endowments also have some of the poorest hunger indicators? This thesis will investigate this question through the lens of land ownership and management in South Sudan. One important aspect influencing food security is the use of land. In recent years, South Sudan has seen foreign investors leasing its prime land for industrial agriculture or resource extraction. Could these projects provide much needed infrastructure and development? What are the risks associated with this type of development model for the local population in South Sudan?