Ethiopian federalism: Autonomy versus control in the Somali region

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

30 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study examines the relationship between Ethiopia's federal and regional authorities since the Tigray led regime came to power in 1991. The redivision of Ethiopia into ethnic regions was aimed to effect two changes: to abolish certain ethnic domination of the state; and to enable various communities to govern their local affairs. Using material from the Somali Region, this article evaluates whether ethnic-based regional authorities have sufficient autonomy from the centre to be accountable to local populations. The ability of local people to elect their leaders is central to undoing past ethnic injustices. Although communities have gained from the new order, however, the federal ruling party tightly controls regional political authorities. Federal domination of regional governance is partly the result of the ineptness of local elite. This arrangement creates formal ethnic regions without significantly altering power relations in Ethiopia. Consequently, the spirit of the 1991 change is lost as local communities lack leeway while a new ethnic group reigns supreme at the federal level.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1131-1154
Number of pages24
JournalThird World Quarterly
Volume25
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2004

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Ethiopia
federalism
autonomy
regional authority
domination
federal authority
community
local elite
power relations
ethnic group
local population
regime
leader
governance
lack
ability

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Ethiopian federalism : Autonomy versus control in the Somali region. / Samatar, Abdi I.

In: Third World Quarterly, Vol. 25, No. 6, 01.12.2004, p. 1131-1154.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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