Normative spreading through US influence in Ethiopia

  • The short-sighted solution to Ethiopia’s structural problems were born out of the US’s geopolitical objectives in Ethiopia. Ethiopia was a “key nation” for the US – as described by Chester Crocker, the assistant secretary of state for African Affairs at the time – because the Ethiopian government had officially adopted communism in 1984
  • So, in line with the US’s containment politics at the time, the US had to intervene to prevent communism from spreading and the Soviet Union gaining more influence in the rest of the Third World.
  • This is also eminent in the 1985 CIA report on the situation in Ethiopia, which concluded the US should continue support for the sitting president Mengistu, turning a blind eye to Mengistu’s horrific crimes, because it was in their own interest to support him to gain Western influence in Ethiopia.
  • Thus, US’s aid relief can be understood as symptomatic of a colonial normative spreading of Western values (democracy) as they were interested in having them under their sphere of influence, rather than actually solving their structural problems.

Leave a Reply