Conference name, dates, place

7th International Conference on African Development (ICAD),July 27-29, 2012, Western Michigan University ,Kalamazoo, MI, USA.

Document Type


Presentation Date

Summer 7-2012


State-society relations in Ethiopia have throughout history been one of cooperation rather than competition and destruction at least when it comes to the defense of the motherland. This short paper, attempts to examine the place of civil society vis-a-vis the all-powerful position of the state in Ethiopia and its behaviors in times of national danger or war where both complement each other and defeat the enemy. The states , during these times of national threats, go to a point where it literally begs national communities through traditional associations or civil societal groups and successfully repulses the aggressor. But once the enemy is defeated and peace reigns, rulers ignore their partner groups. They make the groups subservient to their will s and deny them the opportunity to fight the war on overcoming development , their own development at that . They suppress the triumphant groups and exclude them from participation. They even go to a point where they destroy their members. Yet, a national resource constituted by civil societal group members could be a force that would enormously enhance and/or expedite development. The paper suggests that cooperation between the state and civil society as in times of war is the only avenue to combat poverty with a relative ease in Ethiopia and elsewhere,