Greater Ethiopia: Evolution of a Pluralist Politico-Legal System in a Pluralist Polity
18 Pages Posted: 15 Aug 2011 Last revised: 21 Sep 2011
Date Written: August 15, 2011
This paper aims to address two distinct, but related, questions about the emergence of a pluralist politico-legal order in the last decade of the last century in Ethiopia. The first question has to do with why the Ethiopian state, as opposed to the society, remained unitarist, as opposed to pluralist, for most of its history, despite its mosaic diversity and what prompted the adoption of ethnic federalism? The aim of this short essay is thus to throw light on why it remained unitarist for most of its history, how political history conspired with legal history in the making of a unitarist politico-legal order, and what prompted the emergence of a pluralist politico-legal order recently. This I shall do by telling two distinct, but not unrelated, accounts regarding Ethiopia’s politics and law with a focus on the center-periphery cleavage. In so doing, the political history of Ethiopia will be analyzed through the evolution of the center-periphery cleavage.
Keywords: Ethiopia, Political History, Legal History, Center-Periphery, Ethnic Federalism, Legal Pluralism, Centralization, Codification, Legal Transplantation
JEL Classification: K40, N40, N47
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation