Opposition in the Ethiopian diaspora in Norway : mobilizing supporters abroad
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Over the past two decades, the Ethiopian opposition diaspora in Norway has increased their mobilizing efforts and civic participation. With a steady influx of Ethiopian migrants and refugees to Norway, the scope of diasporic political activity has expanded. This includes the establishment of opposition groups that mobilize against the Ethiopian government, seeking to bring what they call ‘democratic change’ to their homeland. The aim of this thesis is to provide an overview of the most prominent Ethiopian opposition groups in Norway, and account for some of the causes and mechanisms that can help explain the mobilization of the Ethiopian opposition diaspora in Norway. The thesis will argue that the Ethiopian opposition diaspora is diverse, and consists of movements, organizations and political parties which are motivated by similar grievances, but represent different stances, political projects and aims. While there are many causal factors that could explain diaspora mobilization in Norway, this thesis will primarily highlight the importance of long-term grievances and single incidents and processes such as the 2005 election in Ethiopia, Meles Zenawi’s visit to Norway in 2005, Norwegian asylum politics and the diplomatic relationship between Norway and Ethiopia. Furthermore, a conceptualization of causal mechanisms – supported by concepts from social movement theory – will show that the Ethiopian opposition diaspora in Norway use framing, transnational entrepreneurship, political opportunities and lobbyism to mobilize supporters.