‘It’s life and death’: how the growth of Addis Ababa has sparked ethnic tensions

The most likely scenario, as so often is the case, is that some kind of middle way will be found... The “Africa rising” narrative does not fit this messy reality – but nor does its pessimistic opposite. Addis Ababa, like Ethiopia as a whole, has always charted its own path, confounding predictions and confusing pundits. This is unlikely to change now. There will doubtlessly be further waves of unrest, and detentions, repression and deaths. There will be some minor concessions from the authorities. Economic growth may slow. But it does not feel like the revolution is just around the corner.

Social Origins of Democracy: Religious freedom laid the foundations for political freedom

New forces arose to threaten the old patterns of religious life. Towards the end of the Middle Ages, Roman Catholicism was moving towards its peak, with the old ways more and more in disharmony with new forces. Individualism, nationalism and secularism contributed to a climate of opinion hostile to the continuation of privileges and abuses … Continue reading Social Origins of Democracy: Religious freedom laid the foundations for political freedom

Social Origins of Democracy: Rise of commerce creates urban power centers

The growth of commerce stimulated the liberation of cities from feudal control. The cities were more democratic than the countryside. Though they began as humble enclaves in a feudal world, the towns began to assume the proportions of a challenger and a competitor, helping to sustain governments and competing in their interests with the feudal … Continue reading Social Origins of Democracy: Rise of commerce creates urban power centers

Democracy vs Development-2

Michael Kebede ....You've asked me whether that the chinese development model is worth replicating. You also asked how much more prosperous china would have been if it hadn't jettisoned democracy in the first place. Here, i would like to present my argument taking the development model of India, another economic giant and democratic state, as … Continue reading Democracy vs Development-2