Francis Fukuyama, born in Chicago, USA in 1952, is an American Author and Political Scientist. He received his B.A. from Cornell University in Classics, and his Ph.D. from Harvard in Political Science. Even if, Fukuyama has extensively written on political development and international political economies, he is more known for authoring the book entitled ‘the End of History and the Last Man’, on which he argued that the worldwide spread of liberal democracies and the free-market capitalism and the lifestyle of the West, may signal the endpoint of humanity’s socio-cultural evolution and become the final form of human government.
His other famous publication, ‘Political Order and Political Decay: From the Industrial Revolution to the Globalization of Democracy’, is considered a masterful study of political development.
Fukuyama is currently a senior fellow at Stanford University in California. He is the Director of the Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law.
In his latest book dubbed ‘Identity: the Demand for Dignity and the Politics of Resentment’, he asserts that the demand for recognition of one’s identity, which he deems a fundamental human instinct, is a master concept that defines much of the world politics today. In the book, the Japanese-American stated that the universal recognition on which liberal democracy is predicated has been increasingly challenged by narrower forms of recognition based on nation, religion, sect, race, ethnicity, or gender. If people no longer vote according to their values, such as an attachment to liberty, but by their identities, such as their faith or ethnicity, Fukuyama argues that democracy would cease to function. Indeed, identity is gaining centre stage in politics in many parts of the world today. Ethiopia is no exception.
Two months ago, the 67-year old distinguished professor, on his first trip to Ethiopia, met with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD) and discussed on different matters. He gave his latest book on identity politics to the premiere.
Earlier this month, Fukuyama returned to Ethiopia again to train private sector developers. He also gave a public lecture at the American centre in Addis Ababa on “Populism and the State of Global Democracy”. In the sideline of the training, EBR’s Haimanot Ashenafi sat down with the global thinker to discuss about Ethiopia’s economic and political situations.