Reflections on the Political Economy of Transition in Eritrea: Lessons from Asia’s Newly-Industrializing Countries

  • Okbazghi Yohannes
Part of the International Political Economy Series book series (IPES)


Recently, I heard Thomas Keneally reiterate themes he had developed in his novel, To Asmara, one of which is his genuine belief that the Eritrean national revolution has all the possibilities of creating a good society. This general sentiment is shared by many observers who know the Eritreans and their struggle. At this juncture, it is clear that the economic system chosen by the Eritrean leadership is the market economy. But choosing a system in the abstract is not the same as identifying and strategizing the means by which it is to be structured. Here care must be taken not to confuse ends with means. Such a confusion was, in fact, the hallmark of almost all developing countries in the past. Blaming the system for their failure in prioritizing their national developmental goals and in strategizing the means by which these goals were to be attained, political elites continuously sought refuge in their conversion and reconversion to convoluted forms of either capitalism or socialism. Thus, as Eritrea’s economic transition presumably will take on a rough meandering in coming years, the Eritrean leadership must begin a learning process that requires them to make a thoroughgoing assessment of failures and successes of states that have taken the capitalist road of development.


Political Economy Capital Accumulation International Capital Democratic Capitalism Active State Intervention 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Steve Chan, East Asian Dynamism: Growth, Order and Security in the Pacific Region ( Boulder: Westview Press, 1990 ) p. 36.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Robert Gilpin, The Political Economy of International Politics ( Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1987 ) pp. 265–7.Google Scholar
  3. 6.
    Robert B. Reich, The Work of Nations: Preparing Ourselves for 21st Century Capitalism ( New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1991 ) p. 20.Google Scholar
  4. 9.
    Thomas J. McCormick, America’s Half Century: United States Foreign Policy in the Cold War ( Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 1989 ) p. 88.Google Scholar
  5. 13.
    As quoted in Harry Magdoff, The Age of Imperialism: the Economics of US Foreign Policy ( New York: Monthly Review, 1969 ) p. 38.Google Scholar
  6. 14.
    Jennifer S. Whitaker, How Can Africa Survive? ( New York: Harper & Row, 1988 ) p. 76.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Okbazghi Yohannes

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations