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Bittamo : authority, legitimacy, and duty in Kara, Southern Ethiopia

  • The Ethiopian state increasingly seeks to enlist putative ‘traditional authorities’ to lend legitimacy to policies and interventions in the southwestern peripheries of the country. The underlying assumptions do not accord with the perceptions of the local populations: among the Kara in the South Omo region, legitimacy is predicated upon duty and accountability, and higher degrees of public legitimacy are disconnected from authority and direct command over other people’s conduct. The office of the Kara bitti, the highest spiritual leader, thus proves intractable to such attempts at enlistment and has been little affected by the radical transformation of the Kara’s lives through increasing integration into the Ethiopian state over recent decades. But even as the office has changed little, the lives of those expected to assume the role of bitti has, and the duties of a bitti strongly constrain the office holder and limit their personal ambitions and participation in politics at the local, regional and national level.

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Author:Felix Girke, Dunga Nakuwa Batum
Parent Title (English):Challenging Authorities. Ethnographies of Legitimacy and Power in Eastern and Southern Africa
Publisher:Palgrave Macmillan
Place of publication:Cham
Editor:Arne S. Steinforth, Sabine Klocke-Daffa
Document Type:Part of a Book
Year of Publication:2021
Release Date:2021/11/12
Tag:Autorität; Herrschaft; Macht; Verantwortung; Äthiopien
First Page:121
Last Page:146
Institutes:Fakultät Wirtschafts-, Kultur- und Rechtswissenschaften
DDC functional group:300 Sozialwissenschaften
Relevance:Peer reviewed nach anderen Listungen (mit Nachweis zum Peer Review Verfahren)
Licence (English):License LogoLizenzbedingungen Springer