Managing Ethiopia’s ethnic divisions through constitutional design

This report analyses the relevance of various approaches and suggests how contradictory demands could be reconciled.

Ethiopia’s political landscape has long been torn between groups with divergent policy recommendations. However the debates have not engaged the entire range of options available to divided countries for managing ethnic divisions. This report outlines constitutional designs for divided countries and their relevance to Ethiopia before providing practical options for reconciling contradictory demands. It is argued that the least harmful design mixes consociational, centripetal and integrationist policies.

About the author

Semir Yusuf is a Senior Researcher in the Horn of Africa programme at the ISS, Addis Ababa. His research focuses on conflict and peace studies, transition politics, the politics of divided societies, and Ethiopian studies. Yusuf obtained his PhD from the University of Toronto in Comparative Politics and Development Studies. His MA and BA were in the fields of Political Science and International Relations.

Image: Composite by Amelia Broodryk/ISS

Development partners
The ISS is grateful for support from the members of the ISS Partnership Forum: the Hanns Seidel Foundation, the European Union, the Open Society Foundations and the governments of Canada, Denmark, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the USA.
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