Andreas Admasie

Dynamics of Assertive Unionism in Ethiopia

The trade union movement in Ethiopia is frequently characterised as so miniscule and co-opted by the state as to render it largely irrelevant. Yet, despite claims of irrelevancy in terms of size, the movement arguably constitutes the country’s largest organised social force, and despite claims of its co-option it has at key conjunctures been politicized, articulating alternative political visions and strategies and asserted an autonomous line vis-à-vis the state and employers. This would imply that despite the appearance of control and co-option, such control and co-option is conditional and qualified at most. This project will analyze the internal and external dynamics of the trade union movement at key conjunctures in order to establish the conditions under which autonomous and assertive trade unionism becomes possible.

Supervisor: Elisio Macamo

Co-Supervisor: Kassahun Berhanu (Addis Ababa University)



Andreas Admasie is a PhD student at the University of Basel researching Ethiopian trade unionism. Graduated with a BA degree from Addis Ababa University in Political Science and International Relations and an MA degree from the International Institute of Social Studies of the Erasmus University of Rotterdam in Development Studies. Worked for the Swedish embassy in Addis Ababa and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency in Stockholm before returning to academia.

Memberships: Centre for African Studies