Catalogue


Ideology and elite conflicts : autopsy of the Ethiopian revolution /
Messay Kebede.
imprint
Lanham, MD : Lexington Books, c2011.
description
xv, 388 p.
ISBN
0739137964 (cloth : alk. paper), 9780739137963 (cloth : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Lanham, MD : Lexington Books, c2011.
isbn
0739137964 (cloth : alk. paper)
9780739137963 (cloth : alk. paper)
contents note
Controversies over the nature of the Ethiopian social change -- Theories of revolution and the Ethiopian discrepancies -- Ideology and power struggle -- Subjective conditions of social revolutions -- The ideological origins of Haile Selassie's regime -- Sociopolitical origins of Haile Selassie's regime -- The politics of cooptation: strengths and weaknesses -- Social blockage and rising discontent -- The Ethiopian military and the formation of the Derg -- Disputes over the radicalization of the Derg -- Power struggle and radicalization -- Conflicts for power and the rise of Mengistu Haile Mariam -- Narcissism and revolution -- Ethnonationalism and political competition -- The fall of Mengistu and the Derg -- Why social revolutions fail? -- Philosophical extensions.
catalogue key
8178840
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 359-369) and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Messay Kebede is professor of philosophy at the University of Dayton, Ohio.
Reviews
Review Quotes
Messay Kebede has written an enormously important book. He definitively places the Ethiopian revolution as one of the 20th centuries "great revolutions," on par with the Russian or Chinese in terms of scope of transformation. Messay provides a systematic and compelling argument on one of the key puzzles of the revolution. Internal power struggles within the military junta known as the Derg, Messay argues, drove this movement of revolutionary change. Everyone interested in contemporary Ethiopia or comparative revolutions will benefit from this book.
Messay Kebede has written an enormously important book. He definitively places the Ethiopian revolution as one of the 20th century's 'great revolutions,' on par with the Russian or Chinese in terms of scope of transformation. Kebede provides a systematic and compelling argument on one of the key puzzles of the revolution. Internal power struggles within the military junta known as the Derg, Kebede argues, drove this movement of revolutionary change. Everyone interested in contemporary Ethiopia or comparative revolutions will benefit from this book.
There are books, and then there are Books. Messay Kebede has written a Book. With sustained analytical brilliance, he demonstrates how understanding Ethiopia contributes to the understanding of the world. Ideology and Elite Conflicts represents a major achievement in combining comparative history with political and cultural analysis, all set within a philosophical frame.
Messay Kebede has written an enormously important book. He definitively places the Ethiopian revolution as one of the 20th centuries 'great revolutions,' on par with the Russian or Chinese in terms of scope of transformation. Kebede provides a systematic and compelling argument on one of the key puzzles of the revolution. Internal power struggles within the military junta known as the Derg, Kebede argues, drove this movement of revolutionary change. Everyone interested in contemporary Ethiopia or comparative revolutions will benefit from this book.
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Long Description
The book provides a theoretical explanation of the major outcomes of Ethiopia's social revolution, namely, the overthrow of Emperor Haile Selassie in 1974 and the implementation of a far-reaching Marxist-Leninist revolution by a military committee (the Derg) and its collapse in 1991. The book extensively discusses the question of knowing whether existing theories of revolution throw light on the eruption of a radical revolution in Ethiopia and, most of all, whether they can accommodate the major anomaly of a socialist revolution being executed by a military committee that radicalized after the removal of the imperial regime. Hence the central thesis of the book: both the overthrow of the monarchical order and the radicalization of the Derg must be tied to social conditions that exasperated elite conflicts for scarce resources, with the consequence that the espousal of radical ideologies (socialism and ethnonationalism) became the sole avenue for the exclusive control of state power. Moreover, the book shows how the struggle of exclusive elites for the control of the state explains the Derg's need to put its fate in the hands of a providential leader, to wit, Mengistu Haile Mariam. In light of the theoretical debate over the role of charismatic leaders in history, the book establishes how Mengistu's narcissism led him to become the sole owner of the revolution and how his dictatorial rule brought about his own demise and that of the Derg, following the military defeat of the Ethiopian army in the hands of ethnonationalist insurgents. Another fundamental contribution of the book is a theoretical articulation of political conflicts and ideology that critically intervenes in the divisive issue of the primary cause of revolutions. Granted that ideology is more of a justification than a drive, the Ethiopian case illustrates how conflicts between mutually exclusive elites favor the path of political outbidding mobilizing utopian projects so as to galvanize the support of the masses. The perceived transcendence
Table of Contents
Abbreviationsp. ix
Note on Ethiopian Namesp. xi
Prefacep. xiii
Controversies over the Nature of the Ethiopian Social Changep. 1
Theories of Revolution and the Ethiopian Discrepanciesp. 13
Ideology and Power Strugglep. 47
Subjective Conditions of Social Revolutionsp. 61
The Ideological Origins of Haile Selassie's Regimep. 89
Sociopolitical Origins of Haile Selassie's Regimep. 105
The Politics of Cooptation: Strengths and Weaknessesp. 123
Social Blockage and Rising Discontentp. 145
The Collapse of the Imperial Regime and the Political Assent of the Militaryp. 167
The Ethiopian Military and the Formation of the Dergp. 193
Disputes over the Radicalization of the Dergp. 209
Power Struggle and Radicalizationp. 231
Conflicts for Power and the Rise of Mengistu Haile Mariamp. 251
Narcissism and Revolutionp. 265
Ethnonationalism and Political Competitionp. 287
The Fall of Mengistu and the Dergp. 307
Why Social Revolutions Failp. 327
Philosophical Extensionsp. 339
Glossaryp. 357
Bibliographyp. 359
Indexp. 371
About the Authorp. 389
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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