Terrence LyonsAug 15, 2023
The Puzzle of Ethiopian Politics
Lynne Rienner 2019
How did a group with its origins in a small Marxist-Leninist insurgency in northern Ethiopia transform itself into a party (the EPRDF) with eight million members and a hierarchy that links even the smallest Ethiopian village to the center? How do the legacies of protracted civil war and rebel victory over the brutal Derg regime continue to shape contemporary Ethiopian politics? And can the EPRDF, after widespread protests and a state of emergency, transform itself under new leadership to meet popular demands?
In The Puzzle of Ethiopian Politics (Lynne Rienner, 2019), Terrence Lyons argues that the very structures that enabled the ruling party to overcome the challenges of a war-to-peace transition are the source of the challenges that it faces now. While the new political leadership has promised dramatic reforms, Lyons observes, the powerful authoritarian ruling party remains in place, unreconstructed.
Terrence Lyons is professor in the Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution at George Mason University.