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Chapter Summary

This book examines how a national institutional framework which gives ethnically defined groups the right to self-determination is understood, negotiated, and executed in two communities in the multiethnic Southern region of Ethiopia. It analysis of political developments in Ethiopia under the order of ethnic federalism must have a wider scope than is common in conventional political science analysis. The book argues that generalised knowledge and universal theories are of limited value in explaining the relationship between institutions and ethnicity. This book's description of local as well as regional and national politics in the Ethiopian federation gives a bleak impression of the state of democracy in the country. Events since the elections and since fieldwork for this book was completed in 2006 are worth touching on briefly because they give a hint of the direction in which the Ethiopian federation may be heading.

Keywords: ethnic federalism; multiethnic Southern region



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