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Department of Geography

Asebe Regassa Debelo
Asebe Regassa Debelo, Dr.
Group Leader

Political Geography

Tel.: 044 635 54 44
Room number: Y25 L 53


My research intersects a wide range of interdisciplinary areas. Over the last ten years, I have been working on issues of multinational federalism in Ethiopia, pastoralism and land grabbing, indigenous peoples' rights, development-induced displacement and dispossession, conflict and peace-building and human-envrionment interactions. Geographically, the Horn of Africa is my research focus. Above all, the issue of large-scale development projects in Ethiopia's pastoralist frontiers, and the subsequent land appropriation and displacement of indigenous socieites has attracted my research interest. Accordingly, development has become a violent instrument of state domination rather than addressing peoples' basic needs.

Currently, I am working on urban frontier expansion, and Ethiopia's Imperial Imagination and the making of urban subjects.

List of Publications

Regassa, D. Asebe & Tadesse, Getachew (2021): Electoral Authoritarianism and the Question of Representation: The Case of Caffee Oromia, Ethiopia, Representation, DOI: 10.1080/00344893.2021.2005672

Regassa, D. Asebe (2021) Frontiers of Extraction and Contestation: dispossession, exclusion and local resistance against MIDROC Laga-Dambi Gold Mine, southern Ethiopia, The Extractive Industries and Society (

Regassa, D., Asebe (2021) “From Cattle Herding to Charcoal Burning: Land Expropriation, State Consolidation and Livelihood Changes in Abaya Valley, Southern Ethiopia” In Echi Christina Gabbert, Fana Gebresenbet, John G. Galaty and Günther Schlee (eds.) Lands of the Future: Anthropological Perspectives on Pastoralism, Land Deals and Tropes of Modernity in Eastern Africa. Berghahn Books (ISBN 978-1-78920-990-7).

Regassa, D. Asebe (2020)”The Political Economy of Africa’s Relations with China” In Kenneth Omeje (ed.)The Governance, Security and Development Nexus Africa Rising, pp. 97-111. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Regassa, D. Asebe (2020) “Epistemological and Methodological Considerations in Peacebuilding Research – Experiences from the Borana of Ethiopia” In Ismail Rashid and Ammy Niang (eds.) Researching Peacebuilding in Africa Reflections on Theory, Fieldwork and Context. London: Routledge (ISBN 9780367904111

Regassa, Asebe (2019) “Living with Conflict: Borana Oromo’s Resilience in Southern Ethiopia” African Journal of African Conflict & Peacebuilding Review 9, no. 2, 75–97

Regassa, Asebe & Jaleta, Tadesse (2018) “Peace Is Not a Free Gift”: Indigenous Conceptions of Peace among the Guji-Oromo in Southern Ethiopia, Northeast African Studies, Volume 18, Numbers 1-2, 2018, pp. 201-230 (

Regassa, Asebe & Koft, Benedikt (2018) Post-imperial statecraft: high modernism and the politics of land dispossession in Ethiopia’s pastoral frontier, Journal of Eastern African Studies (

Regassa, Asebe, Hizekiel, Yetebarek & Korf, Benedikt (2018): ‘Civilizing’ the pastoral frontier: land grabbing, dispossession and coercive agrarian development in Ethiopia, The Journal of Peasant Studies, DOI: 10.1080/03066150.2017.1420060

Regassa, Asebe, Klute, Georg and Detona, Mohammed (2018) They Have Stolen Our Land.” Enclosure, Commodification and Patterns of Human-Environment Relations among Afar Pastoralists in Northeastern Ethiopia, Modern Africa: Politics, History and Society 5(2):127-150. (

Regassa, Asebe (2017), Competing Epistemologies: Conservationist Discourses and Guji Oromo’s Sacred Cosmologies, Journal of the Studies for Religion, Nature and Culture 11, (2): 249-267.

Regassa, Asebe, Legesse, Abiyot, Milstein, Tema, Orkaydo, Ongaye (2017), "Tree is life:" The rising of dualism and the declining of mutualism among the Gedeo of southern Ethiopia, Journal of Frontiers in Communication and Environmental Sciences,

Regassa, Asebe (2016) Competing orders and conflicts at the margins of the State: Inter-group conflicts along the Ethiopia-Kenya border, ACCORD, Vol. 16, No. 2: 57-84.

Regassa, Asebe (2016) Wilderness or Home?” Conflicts, Competing Perspectives and Claims of Entitlement over Nech Sar National Park, Ethiopia. Berlin: Lit Verlag.

Regassa, Asebe (2016) ‘Development through dispossession?’ A reappraisal of the Adola Gold Mine in southern Ethiopia, Horn of Africa Bulletin 28 (4): 27-31.

Regassa, Asebe and Zeleke, Meron (2014) “Irrecha: The Traditional Oromo Ritual from Local to Global – the transnational dimension of Irrecha”. In Afe Adogame (ed.), Imagining the Religious 'Other': The Public Face of African New Religious Movements in Diaspora. UK: Ashgate Publishing Press.

Regassa, Asebe and Anne Trine Kjolvolt (2013). “Childhood, Food Culture and Eating Practices among the Guji”, In Anne Trine and Tatek Abebe (eds.) Childhood and Local Knowledge in Ethiopia: Rights, Livelihood and Generations.Norway: Tapir Academic Press.

Regassa, Asebe (2012). Emerging Ethnic Identities and Inter-ethnic conflict: A Study on Guji-Burji Conflict in South Ethiopia, Journal of Studies in Ethnicity and Nationalism, Vol. 12, No.3.pp.517-533.

Regassa, Asebe (2012). The Dynamics of Ethnicity and Ethnic Policy in Ethiopia: National Discourse and Local Realities. Journal of Oromo Studies, Vol. 19, No.1& 2 (pp.1-36).