The impact of violence : the Ethiopian 'Red terror' as a social phenomenon

TitleThe impact of violence : the Ethiopian 'Red terror' as a social phenomenon
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication1995
AuthorsG.J. Abbink
EditorP.J. Bräunlein, and A. Lauser
Secondary TitleKrieg und Frieden : ethnologische Perspektiven
Pagination129 - 145
Date Published1995///
Place PublishedBremen
Publication Languageeng
KeywordsEthiopia, policy, Political change, politics, social psychology, violence

This article examines how violent interaction between ethnic and social groups in Ethiopia has shaped the contours of contemporary society. It focuses on the so-called Red Terror period of the late 1970s, which marks a decisive stage in the transformation of violence and politics in Ethiopia. The intense physical and psychological violence of the Red Terror period had a lasting effect on the collective mind and on social relations among Ethiopians. Because of its violation of central sociocultural ideals and codes in Ethiopian society, it decisively undermined any idea of 'social contract' or 'trust' between the State and the population. This breakdown of trust led to a dissociation of civilians from national policy and power structures, and to a serious weakening of overall social cohesion. Bibliogr., notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]

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