Dialectical Anthropology

, Volume 26, Issue 1, pp 37–63 | Cite as

Phantom Wars and Cyberwars: Abyssinian Fundamentalism and Catastrophe in Eritrea

  • John Sorenson
  • Atsuko Matsuoka


The 1998–2000 war between Ethiopia and Eritreapitted former allies against each other, endingnew opportunities for development anddemocracy. We examine discursive constructionof the war, including Western media coverageand propaganda from both governments, but focuson discourse of exiled Ethiopians committed topolitical struggles in their former homeland,using the concept of long-distance nationalism.To investigate one form of long-distancenationalism, resurgent Abyssinianfundamentalism, we turn to sites of itsdiscursive production, including the magazine,Ethiopian Review, and the Internet. Theorists of transnationalism have consideredthe Internet as a site for new forms ofcommunication and community and argue thatInternet discourse among diaspora professionalsand academics embodies a creolizeddiscourse produced by a distinctive type, thecybernaut. In the case of the Abyssiniancybernauts, however, we detect not a newcreolized discourse but a ghostly repetitionof old views.


Distinctive Type Western Medium 
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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Sorenson
    • 1
  • Atsuko Matsuoka
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of SociologyBrock UniversitySt. CatharinesCanada
  2. 2.School of Social Work Atkinson CollegeYork UniversityTorontoCanada

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