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Public Policy and Administration


Gerald Regier


The impact of diminishing powers of Dinka Bor traditional leaders is affecting how the community is recovering from the protracted civil war in South Sudan. Many people are traumatized and most of the population are young of whom many are orphaned children of war growing up in poverty and violence. The problem is that Dinka Bor traditional leaders have lost governing powers over their people in the villages across Jonglei State. Thus, as civilians return to rebuild their lives no stable system of governance is present in the remote villages to guide and protect the people. The research question addressed was about how the lack of a robust system of governance and empowered leadership enabled social problems and internal conflicts within the Dinka Bor community. Contributing factors were found to be lack of discipline and education among heavily armed and unemployed Dinka Bor youth. Using Burn’s transformational leadership theory and Kelling and Wilson’s broken window theory, 15 participants from Dinka Bor community in the Diaspora were interviewed in this qualitative case study to gain insights on the phenomenon affecting the people. The findings in this study concluded that lack of power and influence limited Dinka Bor traditional leaders from preventing interclan conflicts and enforce social cohesions that could keep peace and harmony among the communities because the civil war destroyed indigenous system of governance. Traditional leaders should be empowered to govern citizens and solve social issues in the Dinka Bor communities across villages. The implications for social change include creating hybrid governance structures that will merge traditional, and contemporary governing systems to promote peace and stability in Jonglei State.