1st Edition

Parliament in Ethiopia Participation, Representation and Resistance

By Mercy Fekadu Mulugeta Copyright 2024
    240 Pages 13 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    African legislatures remain understudied, yet democratisation, development and peacebuilding all depend on these key political institutions. This book provides an in-depth analysis of Ethiopia’s parliament, a country of key political and strategic importance to the whole region.

    In 1931, Ethiopia’s monarchical government introduced a system of parliamentary democracy with seemingly contradictory objectives; it wanted to legitimize its rule in a changing world, and also needed to provide a respectable retirement vocation (as senators and deputies) to sections of the aristocracy it ousted from power. This paradox of recognizing the parliament as essential to modern governance yet deliberately seeking weak institutions that are unable or unwilling to challenge those in power continues to haunt the parliament to this day. Ethiopia continues to struggle to maintain political stability, and the separation of power between government and parliament and a system of checks and balances are yet to substantially flourish. Drawing on extensive original data gathered from interviews and surveys, this book investigates the legal and practical status of federal representative institutions in Ethiopia from 1931 up to and including 2021. It delves into the rules and routines of parliament, its contextually and historically grounded culture of representation, and the techniques of manoeuvring executive bureaucracies. The book also aims to understand the extent of civil dis/engagement and the perceptions and role of citizens in shaping parliament, and how the mandates and functions of individual MPs are also determined by cultural and socio-economic factors such as gender, population, inequality and conflict.

    This book’s in-depth and original analysis will be of interest to researchers across African studies, politics, development, and governance.

    The Open Access version of this book, available at http://www.taylorfrancis.com, has been made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives (CC-BY-NC-ND) 4.0 license.

    1. Introduction

    2. Representation and Participation by will of the Sovereign: The Imperial Parliament in Ethiopia (1931 to 1974)

    3. Parliament, Land Reform and Taxation in Ethiopia: A Break from Tradition through a Socialist Revolution

    4. The Council of Representatives and House of peoples’ Representatives in post 1991 Ethiopia

    5. How do MPs reach the electorate?

    6. An Ethiopian Experiment with E-democracy: Can E-democracy Platforms be the answer?

    7. Socio-Economic Factors affecting the public participation and attitude towards the House of People’s Representatives, Ethiopia

    8. Oversight and Substantive Representation by the Ethiopian Parliament

    9. Conclusion


    Mercy Fekadu Mulugeta is Assistant Professor at the Institute for Peace and Security Studies (IPSS), Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia, and is the Director of the African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA) Center of Excellence in Post-Conflict Societies hosted by IPSS.