The Transition of Amhara Nationalism from Pan-Ethiopia to Ethno Centric Orientations


Nationalism, although an old concept, remains a dominant narrative in political science literatures and political discourses.  Ethiopia, as a multi ethnic state, had been a political battle field for ultra and pan ethnic movements.  However, in Ethiopia all ethnic groups do not have an ethnic claim. A common example for this is an Amhara ethnic group. Amharas have had strong identification with Ethiopia while the country was engulfed by ethnically oriented political movements for almost five decades. Nevertheless, unlike to the historical records of Amhara elites as Pan Ethiopic force, the last four years of political experience in Ethiopia shows the shift of Amharas towards ethno centric orientations. The purpose of this article is to examine factors which drove out Amharas as a Pan Ethiopia political force, identify the turning point of Amharas transition to ethno centric orientations and state its peculiar characteristics. It used interviews, observations, discussions and qualitative judgments of popular sentiment in Amhara as a methodology. It is found that structure and practice of EPRDF’s rule, EPRDF intellectuals’ error and uneven diffusion of development in the country are behind the transformation of Amhara from pro-state to pro-ethnic political orientations. However, this transition is undergone not in a manner that erased the prior commitment of Amharas to Ethiopian identity but as a new mode of opposing the ethnic-centered realm in neighboring regions.

Citation: Yechale Degu (2021) The Transition of Amhara Nationalism from Pan-Ethiopia to Ethno Centric Orientations, Global Journal of Political Science and Administration, Vol.9, No.3, pp.27-41

Keywords: Amhara, emergency nationalism, pan ethiopia, transitory nationalism, welkait

Article Review Status: Published

Pages: 27-41 (Download PDF)

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