State Formation and Criteria for Statehood in the Ethiopian Federation

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Addis Ababa University


The idea of Federalism is understood as organizing states into at least two layers of government in order to realize self-rule and shared-rule among national and sub-national governments. With regard to forming sub-national states that constitutes the federation; geographic location, historical root, cultural association, ethno-linguistic or national identity might be the organizing element for the federation. When the formerly unitary multi-national state is to be devolved to form federal system of government, like in the case of Ethiopia, the very difficult question immediately comes in to picture is on what bases the sub-unit state that forms the federation is organized. This is a tricky challenge which faces every multi-national state that tries to establish the federation. Once the organizing element is selected the next challenge is to determine the criteria for those who able to form the sub-unit state since it is almost impossible or very difficult to grant a sub-unit state for each and every nationality in the federation. The purpose of this thesis is to explore this issue in the context of Ethiopian federalism.



federalism, multi-national federation, sub-national state formation, criteria for statehood