Ethiopia: from autarchy to developmentalism

ENTITLE blog - a collaborative writing project on Political Ecology

By Ivan Cuesta-Fernandez*

As fast-track growth overhauls the Ethiopian society, the regime is obliged to re-consider its recipe of mixed authoritarianism and development – as Franco’s Spain was.

Meles Zenawi’s funeral. Source: Mulugeta Ayene/AFP/Getty. Meles Zenawi’s funeral. Source: Mulugeta Ayene/AFP/Getty.

On May 24 Ethiopia will celebrate its fifth parliamentary elections. A defeat of the incumbent Ethiopia’s People Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), in power since 1991, appears as highly unlikely. Such a defeat would see the opposition making a giant stride forward from its current unique seat in the chamber. That alone reflects the EPRDF’s deliberate efforts – in the 2010 elections, marred by credible allegations of intimidation and fraud – to avoid at any rate a repetition of the ‘accident’ of 2005. Then, the regime was inflicted a devastating and utterly humiliating loss in Addis Ababa. To halt the propagation of the malaise, the then PM Meles Zenawi decided to administer the country through

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