Authoritarian Politics and Neoliberal Agenda

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


In Ethiopia today, democracy is a distant mirage. The ruling party, the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), has assumed nearly total control of the social, economic, and political spheres of society. Guided by its ‘developmental state’ model, the ruling party prioritizes economic prosperity over political freedom—in its view, democracy should be postponed for the sake of development but its ‘multi-party’ system and ‘free’ election serve to justify power. The ‘developmental state’ model rests on the assumption that the state is a dynamic agent of systemic change and that in order to ensure the continuity and consistency of the execution of development policies and strategies, the ruling party should stay in power for the long term (JICA, 2011). A developmental state can devise and enact policies and programs with little or no public consultation and consensus. In the developmental state model, legitimacy of the government stems primarily from the level of economic growth it delivers rather than from a public consensus through democratic processes (Zenawi, 2012).


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Deakin UniversityGeelongAustralia

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