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Title: The political economy of social policy and agrarian transformation in Ethiopia
Author: Lavers, Tom
Awarding Body: University of Bath
Current Institution: University of Bath
Date of Award: 2013
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This thesis is concerned with social policy during structural transformation, focusing on the case of Ethiopia. The thesis takes a realist, case-based approach to the study of social policy, which recognises that political actors construct the domain of 'social' policy within legitimising discourses in specific national-historical contexts. Social policy is a key aspect of state-society relations and an inherently political field of study. Consequently, the study integrates analysis of cleavages in domestic society along class and ethnic lines, the role of state organisations and international influences, and their impact on the social policy pronouncements by senior government officials and implementation of those policies on the ground. In the Ethiopian case, this approach highlights the centrality of land to social policy and state• society relations. In particular, state land ownership is a key part of the government's development strategy that aims to combine egalitarian agricultural growth with security for smallholders. Nevertheless, the failure to expand the use of productivity-enhancing agricultural inputs, which constitute key complements to the use of land for social objectives, has led to differentiation in social policy provision along class, gender, age and ethnic lines. Micro-level case studies link the land question to food security, including the Productive Safety Net Programme (PSNP), and processes of agricultural commercialisation, notably the so-called 'global land grab'. A main argument of the thesis is that the Ethiopian government is attempting to manage social processes in order to minimise the social and political upheaval involved in structural transformation, and that social pol icy is a central means by which it does so. The development strategy requires social policies that enable the government to control the allocation of factors of production, necessitating restrictions on the rights of individuals and groups. As such, this strategy is intricately intertwined with political authority.
Supervisor: Devine, Joseph ; Brown, Graham Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Ethiopia ; social policy ; agrarian change ; land grab ; social protection ; food security