The general assumption holds that war played a critical role in the state-building processes of Western European nation-states. In light of this assumption, this paper explores the predatory theory and the centrality of war in the processes of institutional and social development in Ethiopia. Due to the experiences of colonialism and the perceptions of what constitute a “legitimate” warfare, Tilly’s Bellicist account is rarely tested on the African continent. In this paper, I argue that European experiences of state-building provide pivotal and applicable insights into the state-formation processes of Ethiopia. More precisely, these insights shed light to the dual processes of external war-making and internal conquest and expansion that precipitated the state-building project under Menelik II (1889-1913). Furthermore, the paper fills the gap in the literature by paying attention to the role of Abyssinian culture in the cultural political economy of state-consolidation.
Tilahune, Hawi T.
"Imperial Ethiopia: Conquest and the Case of National Articulation,"
Tapestries: Interwoven voices of local and global identities: Vol. 5
, Article 3.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.macalester.edu/tapestries/vol5/iss1/3
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