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War and the politics of identity in Ethiopia: the making of enemies and allies in the Horn of Africa, by Kjetil Tronvoll


Hagmann, T (2010). War and the politics of identity in Ethiopia: the making of enemies and allies in the Horn of Africa, by Kjetil Tronvoll. African Affairs, 109(437):677-678.

Abstract

Observers of the Horn of Africa are regularly puzzled by the often shifting alliances that materialize among regional power holders. While the dictum ‘the enemy of my enemy is my friend’ is often cited as an explanation, War and the Politics of Identity in Ethiopia expounds the highly complex processes that determine the (un-)making of friends and foes. Drawing on fieldwork in the Tigrayan-speaking highlands of Ethiopia (and earlier research in Eritrea), Tronvoll scrutinizes the impacts of war on individual and collective identity formation in Tigray and, more broadly, Ethiopia. Most of the book’s empirical data concern the dynamics and consequences of the devastating Ethiopian–Eritrean war of 1998–2000, which claimed an estimated 200,000 casualties. The author situates these events in the longue durée of the very close, but ambivalent relations between Tigrayans in Ethiopia and Tigrinya-speaking highland Eritreans (known as kebessa) who both inhabit the trans-Mereb area. Making use of Fredrik Barth’s boundary concept, the author reviews 150 years of evolving enemy …

Observers of the Horn of Africa are regularly puzzled by the often shifting alliances that materialize among regional power holders. While the dictum ‘the enemy of my enemy is my friend’ is often cited as an explanation, War and the Politics of Identity in Ethiopia expounds the highly complex processes that determine the (un-)making of friends and foes. Drawing on fieldwork in the Tigrayan-speaking highlands of Ethiopia (and earlier research in Eritrea), Tronvoll scrutinizes the impacts of war on individual and collective identity formation in Tigray and, more broadly, Ethiopia. Most of the book’s empirical data concern the dynamics and consequences of the devastating Ethiopian–Eritrean war of 1998–2000, which claimed an estimated 200,000 casualties. The author situates these events in the longue durée of the very close, but ambivalent relations between Tigrayans in Ethiopia and Tigrinya-speaking highland Eritreans (known as kebessa) who both inhabit the trans-Mereb area. Making use of Fredrik Barth’s boundary concept, the author reviews 150 years of evolving enemy …

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, not refereed, further contribution
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
Dewey Decimal Classification:910 Geography & travel
Language:English
Date:8 September 2010
Deposited On:29 Dec 2010 15:21
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 14:28
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISSN:0001-9909
Publisher DOI:10.1093/afraf/adq050
Official URL:http://afraf.oxfordjournals.org/content/109/437/677.extract
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-40003

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