Doctoral Degrees (Economic History and Development Studies)

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    The political economy of the Eritrean war of independence 1961-1991.
    (2021) Ahmed, Mustafa Mohammedosman.; Joseph, Rudigi Rukema.
    The political economy of the Eritrean War of Independence (EWI) examines the power relationships that were unfolded during the War. In this study, political economy refers to the making and administering of power. The political economy approach to the EWI presents a new theoretical perspective to understanding war. The making and administering of power manifests itself through power struggle that occurs during war. Therefore, power struggle determines power relationships of the forces that are involved in the war. This study entails three major themes. The first theme addresses the prelude to the EWI and the background to the power struggle unfolded during the War. The second theme addresses international involvements in the wars of the horn of Africa and their impacts on the EWI. The third theme examines the formation of the Eritrean Liberation Front (ELF) that started the EWI in 1961 and its implosion in 1969. This study used qualitative research method and data was collected through in-depth interviews and from written personal accounts of the EWI. It also used secondary sources such as books and articles. The target population of this study were veterans who participated in the EWI and served at different leadership positions during the War. The rationale behind selecting the veterans of the EWI who served in different leadership positions during the EWI. Their leadership positions enabled them to possess comprehensive knowledge of the power struggle unfolded during the War. In-depth interviews with 20 Eritrean veterans who participated in the EWI at leadership levels and critical positions were conducted. The findings of the study are presented in four themes. The first theme discusses the prevalence of power struggle during the EWI. The prevalence of power struggle included individual power struggle, negative experiences of failed military administrative structures, conflict among military commanders, the role of reform movement, and implosion of ELF. The second theme discusses how and why civil war ensued among different armed factions in the aftermath of the implosion of the ELF. The third theme focusses on the breakaway groups that split from the ELF, and the formation of the Eritrean Peoples’ Liberation Front (EPLF). The fourth and final theme compares the ELF and the EPLF as two competing and rival armed organizations during the second half of the 30-year war period, and how the EPLF won the war of independence. The final theme also highlights the contribution of the EWI to the State formation in Eritrea