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Title: Revisiting the agrarian question : coffee, flowers and Ethiopia's new capitalists
Author: Schäfer, Florian Tomas
ISNI:       0000 0004 6422 1566
Awarding Body: SOAS University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 2017
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This thesis examines the development of agrarian capitalism in the coffee and cut flower sectors of contemporary Ethiopia. Particular emphasis is placed on processes of capital accumulation by large-scale domestic producers, and how their operations interact with the Ethiopian 'developmental state', which is striving for a rapid structural transformation of the economy. Chapter One introduces the research question, develops research themes, and presents the main argument. Chapter Two discusses the relevant literature on economic development and agrarian change. It points to the main shortcomings of institutional approaches, and, drawing on different formulations of the agrarian question, develops the theoretical framework used here: historical political economy. Chapter Three presents the methodological operationalisation of this framework in mixed methods fieldwork, describes the fieldwork and discusses data sources and constraints. Chapter Four shows how Ethiopia's political economy developed across three very different political regimes and illustrates how policies affecting capital accumulation have to be understood in the light of their contribution to the strategic interests of the governing elite. The history of the coffee trade, both in Ethiopia and globally, is examined in Chapter Five. Large-scale private plantations are shown to have important historical antecedents in Ethiopia. Coffee sector regulation is presented in relation to the strategic aims of the government. Chapter Six presents key findings from the mixed method survey in the coffee sector. It discusses the characteristics of large-scale domestic plantation owners, including their patterns of capital accumulation, and their control over, and access to, land and labour. Chapter Seven presents evidence on patterns of capital accumulation in the flower sector. This accumulation is positioned within the context of international flower markets and the industrial policy regime put in place to support the sector in Ethiopia. Chapter Eight compares accumulation patterns in both sectors and summarises the main findings.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral