As a historian, Prof. Mamdani could have introduced a meaningful diachronic approach to explain the challenge of governing a feudal colonial empire like Ethiopia. Then his readers would have grasped why this reform was introduced as a way of addressing some historical grievances of communities instead of compiling conventional views of opponents of this form of governance. This is too facile…. what his suggestion to address Ethiopian ethnonational conflicts? National Integration”? Modernization? Social engineering? They all failed…
Also, why he had brought to British colonialism or indirect rule or what he “centralized despotism” in this context? He could have rather analyzed how modern Ethiopian was created and the root causes of ethnic conflict revolts to better explain the current political dynamic in Ethiopia. With all due respect to his scholarship, this piece lacks depth and breadth. He might have thought this should be ok for the people who do not know much Ethiopia. I hope he will do some research to come up with a piece corresponding to his academic stature.