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Ethnic politics as a recipe for conflict ; the case of Ethiopia

July 15,2016

In a paper published on Journal of Personality and social psychology titled “Political appointments on ethnic and tribal line: A subliminal meta-dehumanization” Kteily, N., Hodson. G and Bruneau, asserted that “dehumanizing an out-group is a pervasive and potent intergroup process that spark-off discrimination and conflict.”

In fact, not only is the political structure including federalism, so to speak, is based on ethnicity but also appointments to key government ministerial positions and government agencies is based on ethnicity in Ethiopia; and in the interests of calling a spade a spade key positions at the national level are under the monopoly of Tigray People’s Liberation Front which is operating under the cover of the political coalition Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF).

The researchers used the concept meta-dehumanization which they defined as “robotizing or dehumanizing out-group.” Their objective in the article is to deconstruct the importance placed on ethnicity as means for power and political offices as opposed to merit based approach based on what the researchers call “national appointment.” What good does that achieve? “decreasing a covert meta-dehumanization which is a recipe for conflict…” is the goal.

You probably guessed it right ; Ethiopia is used as a case study

The article makes a reference to the documentary “Ethiopia a failed state” which is apparently, from the article, written by Miller Hansen. The ruling government in Ethiopia is portrayed for what it is ; “…ethnocentric, plutocratic and totalitarian…” It makes specific reference to Tigray People’s Liberation Front and its politically motivated acts of intimidation,torture,abduction, massacre and ethnic cleansing – among other things. As well, it points it points out the state of press freedom it Ethiopia.

You may read their article on GhanaWeb


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