Governance everywhere is concerned with spatial relationships. Modern states “map” local communities, making them legible for the purposes of control. Ethiopia has gone through several stages of “mapping” in its imperial, revolutionary, and postrevolutionary phases.
In 1986 The Southern Marches of Imperial Ethiopia, a cross-disciplinary collection edited by Don Donham and Wendy James, opened up the study of center/periphery relations in the Ethiopian empire until the fall of the monarchy in 1974. This new volume examines similar themes, taking the story forward through the major changes effected by the socialist regime from the revolution of 1974 to its overthrow in 1991, and then into the current period that has been marked by moves toward local democracy and political devolution.
Topics include the changing fortunes of new and historic towns and cities, the impact of the Mengistu regime’s policies of villagization and resettlement, local aspects of the struggle against Mengistu and its aftermath, and the fate of border regions. Special attention is given to developments since 1991: to new local institutions and forms of autonomy, the links between the international diasporas of Ethiopia and the fortunes of their home areas. The collection draws on the work of established scholars as well as a new generation of Ethiopian and international researchers in the disciplines of anthropology, political science, history, and geography.
Wendy James is a professor of social anthropology at the University of Oxford.
Eisei Kurimoto is an associate professor at the National Museum of Ethnology, Osaka.
Donald L. Donham is a professor of anthropology and the director of African Studies at Emory University.
Alessandro Triulzi is a professor of African studies at the Istituto Universitario Orientale, Naples.
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This pioneering book, first published to wide acclaim in 1986, traces the way the Ethiopian center and the peripheral regions of the country affected each other. It looks specifically at the expansion of the highland Ethiopian state into the western and southern lowlands from the 1890s up to 1974.
Studies of the 1974 Ethiopian revolution have hitherto almost completely ignored religion, in spite of the commitment of a great majority of Ethiopian people to one or another religious tradition. Eide traces the journey from support for the revolution by the church leaders and local members to their suspected alliance with opposition forces.
Khat is a quasi-legal psychoactive shrub, produced and marketed in the province of Harerge, Ethiopia, and widely consumed throughout Northeast Africa. In the late nineteenth century the main cash crop of Harerge was coffee. Leaf of Allah examines why farming families shifted from cultivating coffee and food crops to growing khat. Demographic, market, and political factors facilitated the emergence of khat as Harerge's leading agricultural commodity.