2014 marks the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the Ethiopian Constitution and the 40th Anniversary of the 1974 Revolution. These are two watershed moments that radically re-oriented Ethiopian politics and redefined the form and structure of the Ethiopian state. Though the constitution is by no means a continuation of the Revolution, the latter has provided the ideological basis and the philosophical paradigm for the former. Twenty years after the Revolution, the constitution proclaimed the coming into being of a new political community ‘founded on the rule of law, capable of ensuring a lasting peace, [and] guaranteeing a democratic order.’ It promised a radical break with the ills of the past and grounded the foundation of the new state in the liberal ideas of human rights and democracy. A fiercely centralized state is reconstituted as federal. Sovereignty is both devolved and divided and federating units granted the unprecedented authority to determine their political, economic, and cultural status. However, these radical guarantees are still being deferred and democracy is yet to come.
We want to seize this occasion on 8 & 9 May 2015 as an opportunity to reflect on the legacies of these two constitutive moments. We invite abstracts and panel proposals that explore the most recurring theoretical and empirical issues that have dominated the Ethiopian political landscape from a variety of disciplinary perspectives.
Possible topics may include:
- The Ethiopian Revolution(s)
- Human rights and democratization
- Revolutionary democracy and the state form
- Identity politics (the normative status of ethnicity, competing nationalisms, narrative modalities of nationalism)
- Electoral politics, opposition, civil society
- Federalism, self-determination
- Criminal Justice, judiciary, police
- Freedom of the press and the media landscape
- The developmental state, developmental democracy, development aid
- Terrorism, religious freedom and extremism
- Activism, dissent, critique
Abstracts or panel proposals of up to 300 words, together with a biography of no more than 150 words, should be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org by 31 January 2015.
This conference will take place on 8 &9 May 2015 at LSE.
We are actively seeking funding to support a limited number of presenting participants from Ethiopia, but this is not yet confirmed. There is no fee for participation.