CE55 - Sociétés et territoires en transition

COnflicts and Politics in Ethiopia – COPE

Submission summary

This project aims at studying interrelated dynamics between the current war(s) in Ethiopia, territorialization processes, state formation and identity making. This project innovates in understanding civil war as a territorial process whereby political and military contention reveal deep socio-territorial structures imbedded in historical trajectories and take part in the reproduction of domination and state formation. It focuses on ‘war surrounding materials’, documenting the social, scalar and territorial dimensions of the conflict, something most of scholarly work on civil wars has overlooked. As civil war goes beyond military developments, it will consider all Ethiopian societies, and not only the war-affected Northern regions. Methodology will rely mainly on qualitative research, favoring the practice of fieldwork and long-term observation. The project is structured in four axes that will address (i) contented territorialization processes and the politicization of territorial disputes; (ii) linked contentions over ethnicity and identity in the context of (violent) ethno-federalism; (iii) the dialectic relationship between political contention and theoretical debates about governance systems; (iv) the evolution of the place of Ethiopia in its international surroundings.
This international and interdisciplinary program will bring together geographers, sociologists, historians, anthropologists, and political scientists with long fieldwork experience in Ethiopia, be they Ethiopian or not. The project will be hosted by two leading institutions structuring the French school of Ethiopian studies: the French center for Ethiopian Studies in Addis Ababa (CFEE) and the Institut des Mondes Africains (IMAF) in France. Post-doctoral positions will be provided to French and Ethiopian researchers, a PhD program will be launched, and results will be shared with government and civil society organizations preparing ‘post-war’ Ethiopia.

Project coordination

Sabine PLANEL (Centre national de la recherche scientifique)

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


IMAf Centre national de la recherche scientifique
CFEE Centre national de la recherche scientifique

Help of the ANR 385,465 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: January 2023 - 48 Months

Useful links

Explorez notre base de projets financés



ANR makes available its datasets on funded projects, click here to find more.

Sign up for the latest news:
Subscribe to our newsletter