Beyond Exceptionalism: Ethiopia in the History of International Law

7:15 PM – 8:15 PM (UAE Time)
Keynote 2

Adom Getachew - Neubauer Family Assistant Professor of Political Science and the College, University of Chicago, USA

Ethiopia’s standing as the only African country to escape colonialism has long established its position as the exemplary and exceptional state at the center of Black internationalist and Pan-Africanist thought. Yet this mode of exceptionalism can also be particularizing in ways that undermine comparative analysis and theorizing of Ethiopia in relation to the African world. In this essay, I examine Ethiopia’s relationship to and position within the League from 1923 to 1935 with the aim of illustrating how Ethiopia’s international position illuminates key features of colonial domination, especially the racialization of sovereignty. Through this analysis, I suggest a way to read the exception for the ways its illuminates in stark form the general experience of colonial domination.

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