Ethiopia’s Experiment in Accommodating Diversity: 20 Years’ Balance Sheet

Published: 1/Oct/2012
Source: Journal of Regional & Federal Studies

By Assefa Fiseha

Journal of Regional & Federal Studies, Volume 22, 2012 – Issue 4, Pages 435-473


After years of centralised rule that emphasised unity, since 1991 Ethiopia has adopted a federal system that aims at accommodating diversity. This article assesses whether Ethiopia’s experiment with federalism is achieving the promised goal of managing diversity or whether it is exacerbating conflicts. The federation’s biggest risk is its entanglement with the ruling party, its reliance on soft institutions of democracy and narrowly based institutions of power sharing. Although states are given broad mandates to design policies that fit their local context, in actual terms, their role is limited to implementation of policies designed at the centre.

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Themes: Discrimination, Ethnique/Raciale/Religieuse
Regions: Ethiopie
Year: 2012