2013, Jose Adrian Garcia-Rojas
(Abstract) Federalism is one of the most common solutions are offered to solve the problems in divided societies. Only a few countries have federal experiences conducted in Africa. Among them, Nigeria is the only one maintained in its Constitution federalism since its independence. These institutional arrangements are slowly extended to other countries from the mid 90s. Ethiopia and the Union of the Comoros. Ethiopia and the Union of Comoros introduced federalism in their constitutions as a way to end secessionist trends that had led these countries to situations of state collapse. Nigeria and Ethiopia are deeply divided societies religiously and ethnically. However, Comoros is a homogeneous society in ethnic and religious terms, but strongly divided for reasons of being an archipelagic State. In all three cases offer different institutional arrangements, ranging from the creation of ethnically homogeneous member states, as in Nigeria, to the rotation between the different member states of the presidency, as in Comoros, or opening the institutional channels for possible independence of any of the member states, such as Ethiopia. Nevertheless, none of these three African federal experiences seems to solve successfully all the problems of their divided societies on its configuration as nation states, not seem to put an end to the centrifugal tendencies of certain parts of their territories. Either way, his remarkable institutional differences, these countries seem to have channeled, with varying success, some of the problems that prevented them from living without the constant threat of rupture of the State.
2008, Aregawi Berhe
“This book is a study of the origins and evolution of an Ethiopian insurgent movement, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, that emerged some 34 years ago and has determined much of contemporary Ethiopia’s political development. The study is primarily a narrative political and military history but also intends to address general sociological issues of ethnic-based inequality, political conflict, social mobilization and revolutionary armed resistance in a developing country.”
2013, TEMESGEN THOMAS HALABO
This study explored the ethnic quest for self-governance and their management under Ethiopian federal system by focusing on experience from the Southern Regional State. The FDRE constitution has created a positive interrelationship between practicing the right to self-determination and ethnic identity thereby recognizing this right to ethnically defined groups. Therefore, it is justifiable and legitimate for all ethnically defined groups to claim the right to self- determination. The main objective of this study was to examine the ethnic claims for self-governance in multi-ethnic Southern Regional State within the context of Ethiopian ethnic federal system. This study was based on qualitative method approach and the study employed a number of data collection methods such as data from primary and archival sources and secondary literature. The finding of the study revealed that by merging very diverse ethno-linguistic groups into one federated unit, the Southern Nation Nationalities and Peoples Regional State, the existing political system has created minority-within-minority. As a result, those ethnic groups who have been given their own sub-regional administrative units have acquired political majority over the subsumed ethnic groups. This, in turn, has created a feeling of being dominated and marginalized by the subsumed ethnic groups. This is the basic cause for continuing dynamics of ethnic claims for self-governance at Regional, Zonal and Woreda status in this Regional State. The study recommended that the Southern Regional State should be restructured to accommodate continuing dynamics of ethnic claims for self-governance.
2003, Abu Girma Moges
Abstract: Fiscal federalism is a process of redistribution of fiscal decision-making power in an effort to improve the performance of the public sector in resource mobilization, efficient resource allocation and in the process enabling the economy achieve fast and sustainable economic growth. This paper addresses the economic rationale, implications and concerns of pursuing fiscal federalism in a poor country and in a political environment of ethnic federalism. The main findings suggest that when fiscal decentralization is exercised with high horizontal and vertical imbalances, it fails to diversify public output in line with the preferences and priorities of local population and to internalize the decisions of regional governments within their own jurisdictions. This in turn encourages the prevalence of big and yet weak government that extracts resources and fails to allocate for the purpose of sustainable and shared economic growth.
2004, Elana A. Baylis
Unresolved ethnic conflicts threaten the stability and the very existence of multi-ethnic states. Ethnically divided states have struggled to build structural safeguards against such disputes into their political and legal systems, but these safeguards have not been able to prevent all conflict. Accordingly, multi-ethnic states facing persistent ethnic conflicts need to develop effective dispute resolution systems for resolving those conflicts. This presents an important question: what kinds of processes and institutions might enable ethnic groups to resolve their conflicts with each other and the state? This Article explores that question, reviewing the inter disciplinary literature on ethnic conflicts, the legal literature on legal process and conflict resolution, and a case study of ethnic conflicts and conflict resolution in Ethiopia. At crucial moments in the development of an ethnic conflict, legal processes such as mediation, arbitration or constitutional interpretation might play a role in resolving the dispute. But ethnic conflict resolution institutions and processes must be carefully designed to take account of the variety, complexity and dynamics of ethnic conflicts, and to address the substantial number of ethnic groups and interests that diverge from the "minority rights" legal model. Ultimately, the Ethiopian example calls on us to consider whether and how legal processes might be able to ameliorate the threat posed by ethnic conflict.
Tsegaye Regassa, 2010
Ethiopia has been experimenting with federalism for several years now. Its accent on ethno-linguistic criteria for state formation, its constitutional recognition of the right to secession, the unusual mode of constitutional adjudication through the House of Federation (a body that is analogous to an upper house of a bicameral legislature), the de facto asymmetry that persists in spite of the de jure symmetry, the lack of explicit textual recognition of federal supremacy and the consequent parallelism/dualism noted in federal practice, among other things, have attracted attention both in academic and non-academic circles. This article seeks to reflect upon whether the Ethiopian federal experiment can offer some lessons to other countries of the Horn of Africa who feel the similar burden of diversity, conflict, and insecurity. In other words, it inquires into the “exportability” of the Ethiopian brand of federalism. In so doing, it first seeks to descriptively situate federalism in Ethiopia’s past and present. Then it weighs the (ir)relevance of the Ethiopian federal experiment to the countries in the sub-region by looking into the significance of multi-ethnic federalism for internal peace and stability, for entrenchment of ethno-cultural justice and for governance of diversity, and for the prospect of regional integration. In the quest for a potential ‘market’ to export to, this piece reflects on the factors that facilitate the migration of law (e.g. success at home, prestige abroad, and the psychology of the countries of the sub-region which inevitably is informed by a history of chequered relations, etc). In this way, it seeks to examine the comparative relevance of the Ethiopian federal experiment to other countries with a common set of ailments to deal with.
Fisseha Yacob Belay, 2016
This research, using critical qualitative research methods, explores the conceptualization and impact of multiculturalism within the Ethiopian education context. The essence of multiculturalism is to develop harmonious coexistence among people from diverse ethnic, social and cultural backgrounds. The current Ethiopian regime has used the ethnic federalism policy to restructure Ethiopia’s geopolitical, social and education policies along ethnic and linguistic lines. The official discourse of Ethiopian ethnic federalism and multicultural policies has emphasized the liberal values of diversity, tolerance, and recognition of minority groups. However, its application has resulted in negative ethnicity and social conflicts among different ethnic groups.
Two universities, one in Oromia and another in Southern Nations, Nationalities and People’s (SNNP) region, were selected using purposive sampling for this study. Document analysis and in-depth interviews were used to collect data from ten professors, ten students and three curricular experts. The findings of this study revealed that Ethiopian multiculturalism has stemmed from the ethnic federalism political system; however, participants’ conceptualizations ranged from unity to division and difference to allegiance. Data further revealed that the impact of multiculturalism in the Ethiopian education system has involved mother tongue usage, quality of education, lack of leadership and foreign policy, while the impact on inter-ethnic relationships includes the declining social cohesion, the rise of ‘narrow nationalism’ and the implication of ethnic conflicts. This study discusses the effects the politics on language use, the declining quality of education and policy transfer all have within the Ethiopian education system. In addition, the study addresses the proliferation of negative ethnicity and the path to genocide. Finally, it makes recommendations to educators and policy makers to improve the education system as well as provide an environment to cultivate ethnic harmonious coexistence.
Kostas Loukeris, 2004
This paper discusses the contending political ideologies in Ethiopia after 1991, i.e. in
the past decade. Such a discussion is of paramount importance if one aims to understand contemporary Ethiopian politics and controversies and at the same time situate oneself within the historical moment that gave birth to them. More precisely one has to investigate how current political ideologies are linked to the ways intellectuals have been 'produced' in Ethiopia. I am of the opinion that all political ideologies currently promoted in Ethiopia share the commonality of political exclusion. This means that all of them are based on particular characteristics that force other Ethiopian citizens to either accept them and thus deny their own ideological orientation or feel excluded from its political system. These processes create grievances and breed conflict.
George Anderson, 2013
Federal and devolved systems of government are based on a territorial delimitation into political states, provinces or regions (constituent units: CUs). When previously unitary countries enter into a constitutional transition to federalism, delimiting the new CUs can be politically controversial and even an obstacle to achieving federalism. Several countries have confronted this issue recently or are currently engaged in doing so. Their success has varied considerably. This paper looks at the experiences of over 20 federal and quasi-federal countries in defining new CUs. It examines both the issues around CU definition during a period of constitutional transition as well as the rules that have been developed for the incremental creation of new CUs once a federal constitution has been adopted. Some lessons are drawn regarding approaches to timing of CU definition, criteria, decision-making processes during transitions and longer-term rules that may be appropriate in different contexts.
Elliott Green, 2011
A growing literature in political science has examined the impact of democratization on decentralization without much attention, however, to how decentralization influences political opposition movements. In order to help fill this gap, in this article I examine two case studies of decentralization in Africa, namely Sudan’s experiment with decentralization in the 1970s and Ethiopia’s more recent experience with decentralization since the 1990s. In the former case political opposition pressured the government to abandon decentralization in the South, leading to a renewed civil war and a successful coup d’état, while in the latter case the political opposition has both remained fragmented and failed to gain a foothold in a series of national elections. I argue that the key reason for these divergent outcomes was the differing equality of decentralization. More specifically, inasmuch as Sudanese decentralization initially only applied to the South, political opposition in the North remained united and instead focused its attentions on Khartoum. In Ethiopia, however, President Zenawi’s regime introduced an equitable form of ethnic federalism across eleven regions, which quickly became a site for political party competition and fragmentation. This article thus suggests that equitable decentralization can promote opposition political party fragmentation.
Shimeles Kassa Kebede, 2015
The central objective of this study is to examine democratization process and evaluate the performance of good governance post 1991in Ethiopia. To this end qualitative methodology was employed to gather data from different secondary sources. Based up on the data the study revealed that Ethiopia was experienced various forms of state building. Pre 1991 centuries of oppressive autocratic regimes have contributed to deeply rooted undemocratic political culture and generally submissive behavior of citizens vis-a vis the state. But, post 1991 FDRE Constitution, espouses parliamentary federalism, contains a bill of rights guarantying freedom, equality and social justice. So that the coming of EPRDF in to power in the country is a land mark for country`s transition to democracy and good governance though the problem of good governance is very rampant in the country. When the EPRDF regime took power in 1991, different legal reforms which are essential for the realization of democracy and good governance have been undertaken. Some of the initial measures undertaken include the participation of political parties in the political discourse, decentralization and adoption of federalism and parliamentary system. The FDRE constitution further provides for the protection of different democratic rights such as the right to hold opinion, thoughts and freedom of assembly, public demonstration and the right to petition etc. But, in the country democratic institution and governance performance cannot reach reliable stage of development. There is a problem of implementation on the ground from the formal rhetoric provided in the constitution. For example in light of major variables of good governance such as legitimacy, accountability, transparency of government activities, rule of law as well as competency of government, the Ethiopian governance performance proved to be one of the low performing systems in the world.