Peripherality and Educational Disadvantage

  • Tebeje MollaEmail author
Part of the Education Policy & Social Inequality book series (EPSI, volume 2)


This chapter focuses on how peripherality (both in terms of political participation and geographical location) has historically affected access to and success in education in general and in higher education (HE) in particular, in Ethiopia. In any policy, power relations between social groups define the centre–periphery demarcation. Communities are labelled as peripheral based on ‘their physical distance from the capital, their level of incorporation into the coercive and economic structures of government, and their degree of association with the legitimizing myths of nationhood’ (Clapham, 2002, p. 11). In Ethiopia, the dividing line between the centre and the periphery, albeit blurred and constantly shifting, lies between those who are integrated into the power hierarchy and those that have no meaningful participation in the system (Markakis, 2011). Often, political regime changes (from Imperial Government to military administration and to the present ethnic-based civilian rule) lead to the realignment of the centre–periphery relationships as well as to changes in the social composition of the elite. In each regime, the centre refers mainly to the political elite not necessarily an ethnic group or community. However, in some historical instances, especially with the primacy of ethnic nationalism over civic nationalism in the present political arrangement, political position intersects with ethnic identity and in such cases the centre–periphery relationship amplifies ethnic-based stratification.


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Deakin UniversityGeelongAustralia

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