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The Politics of Transforming the Empire-State: Ethnic Identity vs. National Identity in Ethiopia

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Chapter Summary

This chapter assesses the crises of the Ethiopian state and the prevailing identity politics. It discusses some of the political dilemmas and impasses, particularly nation-statism and neo-imperial politics disguised under the rhetoric of federalism, to find a genuine, just and lasting solution. Pseudo-democracy and pseudo-federalism are unlikely to solve the country's underlying political and identity crises. The problem can be addressed when imperial politics and domination are eradicated, in one way or another, through self-determination or free and democratic elections in which the peoples can express their desire and the governing institutions are recognized as representative and legitimate. The country has to undergo a structural and fundamental change to address the existing unequal center-periphery relations and the state must cease to be the expression of a single ethnic group.

Keywords: Ethiopian; ethnic identity; National identity; Politics; pseudo-federalism



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