Philosophy Faculty Publications

Title

The Civilian Left and the Radicalization of the Dergue

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

6-2008

Publication Source

Journal of Developing Societies

Abstract

This article attempts to explain the radicalization of the military committee in Ethiopia known as the Dergue. The committee brought down the monarchy and initiated far-reaching socialist transformations of the country. Yet the Dergue had not initially shown any propensity to radicalism. To explain this conversion to Marxist–Leninist ideology, scholars have thus far provided three prevailing views: (i) the Dergue radicalized to steal the revolution from the civilian left; (ii) objective conditions caused its radicalization; and (iii) radical officers initiated the radicalization. The article critically evaluates these views and shows their serious short-comings. It suggests a new explanation involving the quest for legitimacy and the need for political survival.

Inclusive pages

159-182

ISBN/ISSN

0169-796X

Comments

Permission documentation is on file.

Publisher

Sage Publications

Volume

24

Issue

2

Peer Reviewed

yes