History and Politics of the Horn of Africa; Ethiopia; Developmental States; Bureaucracies and Development; State-Society Relations; Federalism & Local Government; Political Economy of Infrastructure & Planning; Urban Politics.
Biruk Terrefe is a DPhil Candidate at St Antony’s College in Oxford. His research interests lie in the modern history and politics of the Horn of Africa, with a particular focus on the dynamics of state- and nation-building and state-society relations. His recent work has been on the Ethiopian state and the tensions between the ruling party’s centralized developmental ambitions and the ethnically federated architecture of the state. This tension becomes particularly evident in the study of infrastructure, as highly contested material spaces of political bargaining.
Before starting this DPhil, Biruk was an independent political analyst based in Addis Ababa interested in dynamics of political rupture, elite politics and the political economy of infrastructure development. He was also a researcher on two projects focused on the politics of urban infrastructure in Addis Ababa (LSECities) and the energy sector in Ethiopia (University of Manchester).
Biruk was previously the convener of the Oxford University China-Africa Network (OUCAN) and has developed a keen interest in examining the intricate nature of China-Ethiopia Relations. He was a Carlo Schmid Fellow at the World Health Organization. Biruk holds an MPhil in Development Studies from the University of Oxford and a BA in International Economics and Development from Jacobs University Bremen.
Journal articles and special issuesTerrefe, Biruk (2022) 'Infrastructures of Renaissance: tangible discourses in the EPRDF’s Ethiopia ', Critical African StudiesTerrefe, Biruk (2020) 'Urban layers of political rupture: the "new" politics of Addis Ababa’s megaprojects ', Journal of Eastern African Studies 14 (3) : 375-95Terrefe, Biruk (with Philipp Rode, Nuno F. da Cruz )(2020) 'Cities and the governance of transport interfaces: Ethiopia's new rail systems ', Transport Policy 91 : 76-94
Working papersTerrefe, Biruk (with Tom Lavers, Fana Gebresenbet )(2021) 'Powering development: the political economy of electricity generation in the EPRDF’s Ethiopia ', FutureDAMS Working Paper 014
Other publicationsTerrefe, Biruk (2021) 'Book review "Ethiopia in Theory: Revolution and Knowledge Production 1964-2016" ', Journal of Development Studies