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Introduction: The Limits Of Institutions In Multiethnic Societies

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Chapter Summary

This book explores one African governments attempts to manage ethnic diversity: the Ethiopian implementation of ethnically based federalism. An increasing number of groups have demanded to have their own separate ethnic administrations, detached from larger multiethnic administrative areas. The book focuses on the formal political institutions of the state are only one determinant of ethnic political mobilisation. It reviews on patterns of interaction between formal and informal institutions. The theoretical approach of this book leans on the Africanist tradition in political science, a tradition which dates back to the early 1960s with the work of, for instance, Apter (1963) and Austin (1964) on politics in Ghana. It explores how the process of implementing national self-determination has unfolded on the ground in the Ethiopian federation.

Keywords: multiethnic societies; political mobilisation; political science



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