Title of paper

Mediating for Peace and Political Space in the Ethiopian Political-Economy System: A Conceptual Framework

Presenter's country

United States

Start Date

28-5-2016 9:30 AM

End Date

28-5-2016 10:35 AM

Location

Hall II

Submission type

Presentation

Abstract

Given the organizing principle of the current Ethiopian state, Ethnic Federalism, the structure of the government is inevitably on the one hand lopsided and on the other hand fragmented. Both phenomena tend to be susceptible to frequent conflicts and challenges to legitimately govern the state without a national identity. Even an honest attempt to democratize the governance system by the ruling party faces challenges as the process to the election is often confounded by the competing demands of the fragmented parties and by the very fact that the ruling party appears, both in substance and perception, to control every political-economy aspects of the nation. The conflict escalates especially when there is a sense, felt or otherwise, that the democratization process is used only to monopolize power by a single party. This conceptual paper proposes a mediation process, Shemeglena in the Ethiopian traditions, to help address the presenting problems that the Ethiopian Ethnic Federalism is frequently facing. Specifically, the paper proposes organizing three teams of Shemaglees and leaders; Team One is to work with the ruling party and Team Two is to facilitate an inside-out negotiation with the fragmented alternative parties with the objective of creating a space for dialogue where the two sides, the government and the alternative parties, can engage in a constructive dialogue for national peace, reconciliation of differences and development for mutual gains. Given Ethiopia’s experience of several decades of conflicts, the Third Team is to play a critical role in engaging the Ethiopian people, both at home and in the diasporas, by offering Alternative Dispute Resolution Education with the objective of developing a culture of peace and resolving differences, of interests, beliefs and sharing geographic locations in a national space. In short, the Third Team’s vision, mission and goals are, and ought to be, to provide peace education and constructive dialogue that will serve as a national safety net for post conflict Ethiopia to develop and thrive.

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May 28th, 9:30 AM May 28th, 10:35 AM

Mediating for Peace and Political Space in the Ethiopian Political-Economy System: A Conceptual Framework

Hall II

Given the organizing principle of the current Ethiopian state, Ethnic Federalism, the structure of the government is inevitably on the one hand lopsided and on the other hand fragmented. Both phenomena tend to be susceptible to frequent conflicts and challenges to legitimately govern the state without a national identity. Even an honest attempt to democratize the governance system by the ruling party faces challenges as the process to the election is often confounded by the competing demands of the fragmented parties and by the very fact that the ruling party appears, both in substance and perception, to control every political-economy aspects of the nation. The conflict escalates especially when there is a sense, felt or otherwise, that the democratization process is used only to monopolize power by a single party. This conceptual paper proposes a mediation process, Shemeglena in the Ethiopian traditions, to help address the presenting problems that the Ethiopian Ethnic Federalism is frequently facing. Specifically, the paper proposes organizing three teams of Shemaglees and leaders; Team One is to work with the ruling party and Team Two is to facilitate an inside-out negotiation with the fragmented alternative parties with the objective of creating a space for dialogue where the two sides, the government and the alternative parties, can engage in a constructive dialogue for national peace, reconciliation of differences and development for mutual gains. Given Ethiopia’s experience of several decades of conflicts, the Third Team is to play a critical role in engaging the Ethiopian people, both at home and in the diasporas, by offering Alternative Dispute Resolution Education with the objective of developing a culture of peace and resolving differences, of interests, beliefs and sharing geographic locations in a national space. In short, the Third Team’s vision, mission and goals are, and ought to be, to provide peace education and constructive dialogue that will serve as a national safety net for post conflict Ethiopia to develop and thrive.