The Role of Ethnic and Religious Spatialities in The Role of Ethnic and Religious Spatialities in Addis Ababa's Urban Conflict Ababa's Urban Conflicts

Lead Research Organisation: King's College London
Department Name: War Studies


Quantitative research suggests that armed conflicts are
more likely to occur in countries where ethnic and religious
identities overlap (Basedau et al., 2011). This research
project probes this finding further through qualitative
investigation of current tensions in Ethiopia, where most
Amhara are Christian and most Oromo are Muslim. Since
the dawn of ethnic federalism in the country, ethnic
identities have been rendered onto territory through the
establishment of ethnic regional states. An understanding
of the way that individuals and groups interact with and
produce space, then, is vital in resolving existing ethnic and
religious inter-community tensions. Addis Ababa provides
the backdrop for this research, due to its diversity, high rate
of societal change and unique status as ethnically
undefined within the ethnic federalist system.
This research draws from epistemologies of spatiality in
geography to broaden the understanding of space in
conflict studies from its current territorial base. Henri
Lefebvre's (1991) relational theory of space, which defines
space as produced through representation and conception,
forms the theoretical framework of this thesis. Research
will be conducted through literature review, archival
research and interviews of individuals living in
neighbourhoods experiencing violence, through which will
be observed the negotiation of space in conflict-prone
societies and the impact of spatiality on ethnic and
religious tensions in urban space.


10 25 50

Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
ES/P000703/1 01/10/2017 30/09/2027
2435734 Studentship ES/P000703/1 01/10/2020 30/09/2024 Ribka Metaferia