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Ethiopia : the challenge of democracy from below

Medarbetare: Bahru, Zewde | Pausewang, Siegfried
Utgivare: Uppsala : Nordiska Afrikainstitutet; Forum for Social Studies, Addis Ababa
År: 2002
Språk: eng
Ämnesord: Democratisation, Governance, Local government, Traditional authority, Peasantry, Land reform, Political power, Ethiopia, Political science, Statsvetenskap
Identifikator: http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:nai:diva-190
Identifikator: urn:isbn:91-7106-501-6
Rättigheter: info:eu-repo/semantics/openAccess
Constitutionally Ethiopia is a federal democratic state although in practice it is dominated by one political coalition. The opposition parties claim they have no chance of challenging the incumbent. The rural majority, as ever, feel controlled from above, unable to influence political decisions. Observers describe elections as manipulated and non-representative of the will of the people for whom the word "democracy" frequently appears to be synonymous with domination and coercion. Democracy is a concept reflecting European philosophies, struggles and concerns. Many Ethiopian ethnic groups have traditions which may offer more satisfactory and culturally acceptable foundations for a "sovereignty of the people" through time-honoured ways of voicing political ideas, ironic observations and vital interests. In line with modern urban life Ethiopians also organise and express their interests in non-governmental organisations, the independent press and advocacy groups representing political and social alternatives. The contributors to this book analyse the democratic potential of these movements and practices, their ability to give a voice to the view from below and their potential contribution to a more genuine participation by the majority of Ethiopians in democratic decision making and bringing the sovereignty of the people a step closer to reality.