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Concordia University Montreal (1998)

Famine and the politics of food relief in the United States relations with Ethiopia, 1950-1991

Kissi, Edward

Titre : Famine and the politics of food relief in the United States relations with Ethiopia, 1950-1991

Auteur : Kissi, Edward

Université de soutenance : Concordia University Montreal

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) 1997

Résumé
The dissertation examines famine in Ethiopia as an issue in U.S.-Ethiopian relations from 1950 to 1991. It argues that to avoid restructuring Ethiopia’s semi-feudal society, and to make military security the primary goal of its foreign relations, the Imperial Ethiopian Government opposed U.S. efforts to place land reform and agricultural development at the centre of its priorities in Ethiopia from 1950 to 1974. Although the Revolutionary Government, which deposed the Imperial Government and ruled Ethiopia from 1975 to 1991, promoted land reform, its agricultural policies and domestic politics violated human rights in a period when democratization and human rights had become the prerequisites for American agricultural aid. The dissertation challenges the argument that the Revolutionary Government deliberately created famine to embark on a well-defined program of genocide against its ethnic and political foes. It provides an alternative view that in the war to settle their competing visions of post-Imperial Ethiopia, the Revolutionary Government and its opponents used famine, starvation and terror to create domestic allegiance and external sympathy. U.S.-Ethiopian relations deteriorated over the human rights atrocities, anti-American attitude and communist orientation of the Revolutionary Government, but Washington and Addis Ababa cooperated to save lives threatened by war and famine.

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