Title of paper

Frontier Regions and Governance Challenges: The Case of Ogaden, Ethiopia

Start Date

August 2014

End Date

August 2014

Submission type

Presentation

Abstract

Ever since its integration as part and parcel of the imperial administration in late 19th century, the Ogaden has presented a distinct administrative challenge to the central government of Ethiopia is mainly due to the proximity of the Ogaden to Somalia, the Indian Ocean, and the convoluted web of connections existing amongst the various clan communities inhabiting the region. Since the times of Emperor Menelik II all through the period of Haile Selassie I, the Ethiopian government paid sensitive attentions and sought to devise ways of handling the administration of the Ogaden. The approaches adopted by the government range from placing a Muslim governor, at the start, appointing highly qualified and progressive governors, to wooing the various clans heads through a complex clientage system. Gauging the success and limitation of the administrative record of the government should be assessed in light of the contested nature of region and the lack of a comprehensive and nuanced frontier policy of the central government. The paper will provide a historical overview of the administrative history of the Ogaden by analyzing the special challenges Ogaden presented to the Ethiopian governments and how the governments sought to navigate the difficulties by limiting the focus to the imperial era. In so doing, the paper contributes ideas and knowledge to frontiers studies, a field of considerable importance that has not received much scholarly attention.

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Aug 15th, 2:00 PM Aug 15th, 3:00 PM

Frontier Regions and Governance Challenges: The Case of Ogaden, Ethiopia

Ever since its integration as part and parcel of the imperial administration in late 19th century, the Ogaden has presented a distinct administrative challenge to the central government of Ethiopia is mainly due to the proximity of the Ogaden to Somalia, the Indian Ocean, and the convoluted web of connections existing amongst the various clan communities inhabiting the region. Since the times of Emperor Menelik II all through the period of Haile Selassie I, the Ethiopian government paid sensitive attentions and sought to devise ways of handling the administration of the Ogaden. The approaches adopted by the government range from placing a Muslim governor, at the start, appointing highly qualified and progressive governors, to wooing the various clans heads through a complex clientage system. Gauging the success and limitation of the administrative record of the government should be assessed in light of the contested nature of region and the lack of a comprehensive and nuanced frontier policy of the central government. The paper will provide a historical overview of the administrative history of the Ogaden by analyzing the special challenges Ogaden presented to the Ethiopian governments and how the governments sought to navigate the difficulties by limiting the focus to the imperial era. In so doing, the paper contributes ideas and knowledge to frontiers studies, a field of considerable importance that has not received much scholarly attention.