Interview with the head of department & studies Bela Gebrewold, political scientist and Ethiopia expert
For several months, the bloody conflict over the Tigray region in northern Ethiopia has been raging. Due to his expertise in international relations and Ethiopia, our head of department & studies Dr. Belachew Gebrewold was invited to be interviewed by Xaver Forthuber as a political scientist in the Ö1-Mittagsjournal on the topic "Ethiopia, its peoples, its people and the war".
In the following interview, Belachew Gebrewold also answers some questions about this topic for the study program:
Why were you invited for the interview? What exactly makes you an expert in international relations and specifically Ethiopia?
Conflicts in Africa are one of my main research interests. In my post-doctoral thesis I dealt with conflicts in different countries in Africa. I have done a lot of research and published on this topic. The social consequences of war are also very relevant to our Social Work program.
How did the war shape the country and its people?
Several hundred thousand people have been displaced. Some have been internally displaced within the country, while others have fled to Sudan. According to many reports, there have been rapes and human rights violations. The billions invested in war would have been urgently needed for many social sectors. Infrastructure is being massively destroyed. Above all, mutual trust is being destroyed. This will make it more difficult for people to live together for a long time.
How does the world feel about Ethiopia?
The European Union and the USA are very critical of the Ethiopian government. It is also striking that they do not understand or want to understand the complexity and background of the problem. The cause is very far back. It would be important for the EU and the U.S. to understand this better before they try to act as mediators or propose solutions. China and Russia are reluctant. The United Nations can't do much at the moment either because there is no unity within the UN Security Council and because Russia and China see this as an internal matter.
Does Ethiopia have a future as a multi-ethnic federal state?
A federal state along ethnic fault lines is always problematic. This was a major flaw in the current constitution, which the government of the time-dominated by the rebels from the north-had pushed.
What is the relevance of the social consequences of war for our Social Work program? Do you discuss this topic with your students in your courses?
War always results in human suffering. People are displaced; they become refugees and flee to other states, where they depend on the help of others; many are traumatized, and much more. Social Work - especially International Social Work - deals with these issues.
In our study program, these topics are discussed in courses. Where it fits in terms of content, this topic is treated as a case study.
Belachew Gebrewold is the head of department & studies at the Department of Social Work at MCI | The Entrepreneurial School®.
2006 - 2010 Habilitation in Politikwissenschaft / Internationale Beziehungen - Universität Innsbruck / Bundeswehr Universität Hamburg ( PD Dr. Habil.)
2004 - 2005 MA Programme (final part)): Peace, Security, Development and International Conflict Transformation MA Thesis Title: The role of state-building in the emergence of civil militias and militarization of the societies of Sudan and Somalia. - University of Innsbruck (MA in Peace, Security, Development and International Conflict Transformation) 2003 MA Programme (part II): Peace, Security, Development and International Conflict Transformation, - University of Castellón/Spain, UNESCO-Chair for Philosophy. 2002 MA Programme (part I): Peace, Security, Development and International Conflict Transformation, - University of Innsbruck
1993 - 2002 Philisophy, Theologie, Internationale Politik, Peace studies - Uni Innsbruck, Hamburg (Mag., MA, Dr.)
1988 - 1991 Philosophical studies - Franciscan Institute of Philosophy and Theology, Addis Abeba/Ethiopia (Diploma)