Making Citizens in Africa
Ethnicity, Gender, and National Identity in Ethiopia
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Part of African Studies
- Author: Lahra Smith, Georgetown University, Washington DC
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Making Citizens in Africa argues that citizenship creation and expansion is a pivotal part of political contestation in Africa today. Citizenship is a powerful analytical tool with which to approach political life in contemporary Africa because the institutional and structural reforms of the past two decades have been inextricably linked with the battle over the “right to have rights.” Professor Lahra Smith's work advances the notion of meaningful citizenship, which refers to the way in which rights are exercised, or the effective practice of citizenship. Using data from Ethiopia and developing a historically informed and empirically nuanced study of language policy and ethnicity and gender identities, this book analyzes the contestation over citizenship that engages the state, social movements, and individuals in substantive ways. By combining original data on language policy in contemporary Ethiopia with detailed historical study and an analytical focus on ethnicity, citizenship, and gender, this work not only brings a fresh approach to Ethiopian political development but also to contemporary citizenship concerns relevant to other parts of Africa.Read more
- Up-to-date study of contemporary politics in Ethiopia contributing to the study of citizenship in democratizing states
- New data on language policy, women and ethnicity in Africa, especially Ethiopia
- Unique focus on women and cultural rights in the African context
Reviews & endorsements
"Smith examines the substantial expansion of what she calls ‘meaningful citizenship’ in the country since the 1970s, by which she means the actual exercise of rights inscribed in formal institutions but too often ignored … One particularly worthwhile chapter narrates the evolution of the role of ethnicity in Ethiopian politics and includes a nuanced analysis of the interaction between cultural norms and formal institutions in shaping the role of women in the country."
Nicolas van de Walle, Foreign AffairsSee more reviews
"Ethiopia’s policies of ethnic federalism have generated a great deal of analysis and debate among scholars. Lahra Smith develops the concept of ‘meaningful citizenship’ to make a valuable intervention in these debates … Smith’s conception of ‘meaningful citizenship’ and attention to gender are valuable contributions to scholarship of Ethiopia and African politics, and her balanced accounts of Ethiopia’s history and politics provide a very useful introduction for students who are new to the Ethiopian case."
Daniel Mains, African Studies Review
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- Date Published: August 2013
- format: Adobe eBook Reader
- isbn: 9781107331297
- contains: 3 maps 3 tables
- availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
Table of Contents
Part I. The Challenge: Unequal Citizenship:
1. Comparative perspectives on citizen-creation in Africa
2. The historical context for modern Ethiopian citizenship
Part II. The Response: The State and Its Citizens:
3. Popular responses to unequal citizenship
4. A referendum on ethnic identity and the claims of citizenship
5. No going back on self-determination for the Oromo
6. Ethiopian women and citizenship rights deferred
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