The League of Nations, Ethiopia and the Making of States

34 Pages Posted: 10 Dec 2018 Last revised: 14 Jan 2019

See all articles by Megan Donaldson

Megan Donaldson

Lauterpacht Centre for International Law / King's College

Date Written: November 16, 2018


This article takes the Ethiopian case as a lens on how the existence of the League refracted approaches to statehood and belonging for polities on the margins of the “family of nations.” Unlike many other doctrinal or historical treatments, this article does not focus on any one juridical concept or doctrine, such as sovereignty, statehood, or recognition. Rather, it traces the flux within concepts, and the uneasy relation between them, which come to light when public statements in the League are read alongside deliberations within European foreign ministries, and projects of reform pursued in Ethiopia itself. Refocusing on the complexity of contemporary discussions reveals how juridical approaches have shifted over time in their relation to concrete factors such as military force, bureaucratic organization and political structures, and bridges a distinction entrenched by disciplinary demarcations in the secondary literature on statehood and state-making.

Keywords: Statehood, Recognition, International Organizations, Ethiopia

Suggested Citation

Donaldson, Megan, The League of Nations, Ethiopia and the Making of States (November 16, 2018). Forthcoming in 10 Humanity, 2019, University of Cambridge Faculty of Law Research Paper No. 2/2019, Available at SSRN:

Megan Donaldson (Contact Author)

Lauterpacht Centre for International Law / King's College ( email )

10 West Road
Cambridge, CB3 9DZ
United Kingdom

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