Ethiopian Agency. An Analysis of Ethiopia’s Motives of engaging in a friendly and cooperative Relation with the Soviet Union.
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The 1974 Soviet-Ethiopian Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation can be seen as the highlight of political interaction between the Soviet Union and Ethiopia during the second half of the 1970s. Analysed from the perspective of the Ethiopian state, this bilateral treaty served to achieve two goals. First, Soviet assistance in creating and strengthening the socialist and political structures of the Ethiopian state, helped Ethiopia to maintain domestic stability after the 1974 revolution. Second, external control of Ethiopia within the African region of the Horn could be established, because of military aid and diplomatic support from the Soviet Union during the Somalian and Eritrean conflicts. By applying the utilitarian theory of action to these goals – which served as Ethiopia’s main motives of engaging in a friendly and cooperative relation with the Soviet Union – this research shows, that, because Ethiopia choose to maximize utility, the signing of the 1978 treaty should be considered a rational action. Because of the Soviet-Ethiopian political relation, the two goals – maintaining domestic stability and establishing external control – had now become feasible within the conditions of the situation.