Ethiopia’s inflection point: drivers of protest and authoritarian options


16 December 2016


Egmont Institute

The Egmont Institute has the pleasure to invite you to a brown bag lunch meeting on 16 December on Ethiopia with Jason Mosley Research Associate at Chatham House and Oxford University.

Waves of popular protests during the last year have produced what may be the most significant challenge the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) has faced since it took power in 1991. The Ethiopian government declared a six-month state of emergency on October 8. Ethiopia’s politics appear to be at a significant inflection point. It is conceivable that the government’s recent offer of political dialogue and of new mechanisms for engaging with different (potentially dissenting) voices signals a potential opening of political space, and a shift towards more genuinely inclusive governance – a real move towards politics beyond the ‘vanguard’. However, given the accumulation of resources and power under the status quo, it would appear more likely that the many beneficiaries of the current political dispensation will not see it as in their interests to move towards significant political reform. Rather, the state of emergency, and the explicit structural dynamics it has created will reinforce the tendency towards containing, rather than engaging with, the protest movement.

(Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)