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Minority Rights, Culture, and Ethiopia's “Third Way” to Governance

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  18 October 2013

Abstract:

Following a successful armed resistance against a dictatorial state regime, a new government of former rebels took control of the national state in Ethiopia in 1991. Prompted partly by unfolding sea changes in global politics in the early 1990s, the new Ethiopian government pledged to undertake radical governance reform. More than twenty years after the new government took office, contested assessments of its record vis-à-vis its human and minority rights pledge, among other issues, have generated waves of debate, criticism, controversy, and global protests. Based on observations from southern Ethiopia, this article takes an ethnographic look at both the process and the outcome of Ethiopia's experiment with ethnic self-government, with a special focus on understanding the value of minority rights as an ideological construct. Conceptually, the paper attempts to explain a disjuncture between the globally prescribed ideal of human/minority group rights and the realities of governance on the ground.

Résumé:

Résumé:

À la suite d'une résistance armée victorieuse contre un régime d'état dictatorial, un nouveau gouvernement formé par des anciens rebelles a pris le contrôle de l'état en Éthiopie en 1991. Motivé en partie par des changements importants en cours dans la politique mondiale au début des années 90, le nouveau gouvernement éthiopien promit de mettre en place des réformes radicales. Ces réformes, souvent classifiées d'expérimentations risquées à cause de l'importance grandissante et sans précédent donnée au principe d'ethnicité comme fondation d'une autorité légitime, sont en cours depuis vingt-et-un ans. En se fondant sur des observations faites en Éthiopie du Sud, cet article fait une étude ethnographique sur le processus et les résultats de l'expérimentation éthiopienne avec la gouvernance ethnique auto-proclamée, en se concentrant particulièrement sur la logique de la valeur placée sur les droits des minorités comme construction idéologique. Conceptuellement, cet essai essaie d'expliquer la séparation entre l'idéal universel prescrit des droits de l'individu et des minorités, et les réalités de gouvernance sur le terrain.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © African Studies Association 2012

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