Organisational Culture at War
: Ethiopian Decision-making and the War with Eritrea (1998-2000)

  • Stig Jarle Hansen

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


Although the Eritrean-Ethiopian war (1998-2000) has been analysed by a large number of researchers, the impact of organisational culture on the war has been neglected. This thesis employs the constructivist theories of Elizabeth Kier in order to examine the impact of organisational culture on Ethiopian decision-making before and during the war and uses the findings to produce policy advice for this and other conflicts.
The thesis' main contribution to the study of the specific Eritrean-Ethiopian war is the revelation that organisational culture in a variety of organisations had serious effects on the bilateral relationship between Eritrea and Ethiopia, effects that can not be explained by ethnically, economically or geographically defined factors. The thesis' main contribution to the field of peace research is a strong warning: calling for caution when policy makers want to apply some of the more generally prescribed policy guidelines within the field, and controversially suggesting that some of the most common advice, as for example the advice to support the oppositional press in order to promote peace, might, if not planned properly, lead to more conflict rather than promote peace.
Date of Award06 Feb 2006
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Aberystwyth University
SupervisorRita Abrahamsen (Supervisor) & Jenny Edkins (Supervisor)

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