Ethnic Federalism: The Ethiopian Experience in Comparative Perspective

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"The aim of this book is to bring a much needed comparative dimension to the discussion of Ethiopian federalism. Apart from giving close examination to aspects of the Ethiopian case, the book asks why the use of territorial decentralization to accommodate ethnic differences has been generally unpopular in Africa, while it is growing in popularity in the West." The book includes case studies of Nigerian and Indian federalism and suggests how Ethiopia might learn from both the failures and successes of these older federations. In the light of these broader issues and cases, it identifies the main challenges facing Ethiopia over the next few years, as it struggles to bring political practice into line with constitutional theory, and thereby achieve a genuinely federal division of powers.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
The comparisons made are with Nigeria (the largest and longest, which survived the civil war involving Biafra) and India (linguistic-based). The book asserts Ethiopia's experiment has ensured peace and security for the great majority of the population - a success when considering the years of violence that preceded it. However, it is still not fully operational - the greatest risk of its failure is not because it is too ethnic, but because it is not sufficiently federal. - OXFAM DEVELOPMENT RESOURCES REVIEW ... the volume successfully gives insight into the experiment of ethnic federalism in Ethiopia and is relevant for scholars interested in institutional design in ethnically diverse societies. - Katherine Holden in JOURNAL OF PEACE RESEARCH ...a timely intervention. ... This collection of essays fruitfully examines the dynamics of Ethiopian ethnic federalism within a comparative conceptual framework. In particular, the Indian and Nigerian examples provide exceptionally useful insights and lessons for Ethiopia. - Abdi Ismail Samatar, University of Minnesota
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780821416976
  • Publisher: Ohio University Press
  • Publication date: 5/23/2006
  • Series: Eastern African Studies Series
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

David Turton is a Senior Associate of Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford, where he was formerly Reader in Forced Migration and Director of the Refugees Studies Centre.

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Table of Contents

1 Emerging western models of multination federalism : are they relevant for Africa? 32
2 Federalism & the management of ethnic conflict : the Nigerian experience 65
3 The evolution & distinctiveness of India's linguistic federalism 93
4 Contradictory interpretations of Ethiopian history : the need for a new consensus 119
5 Theory versus practice in the implementation of Ethiopia's ethnic federalism 131
6 The development of regional & local languages in Ethiopia's federal system 165
7 Responses to ethnic federalism in Ethiopia's southern region 181
8 The experience of Gambella regional state 208
9 Afterword 231
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