Ethiopian Modernization: Opportunities and Derailments



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When one analyzes the Ethiopian Revolution of 1974, the aspect that needs to be primarily explained is not so much the uprising against the imperial regime as its precipitous shift toward socialist demands and slogans. Many unsolved problems liable to provoke widespread discontents saddled the regime. None of them, however, required or invited a socialist revolution per se. The decisive impulse toward a socialist revolution came undoubtedly from the Ethiopian student movement. Accordingly, any inquiry about the revolution must begin by unraveling the reasons that brought about the radicalization of a great majority of Ethiopian students and intellectuals. A compelling reason for inquiring is that the movement had grave deleterious effects on the modernization process, if only because it sowed the seeds of an authoritarian culture and elitist style of leadership that repeatedly canceled out (and continue to do so) reformist attempts in favor of extremist directions.

Publication Date



Dayton, OH


Africana Studies | Philosophy


This book is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivatives (CC-BY-NC-ND) License. Copyright © 2023, Messay Kebede.

Chapter VI —The Radicalization of Ethiopian Students