Contested Power in Ethiopia: Traditional Authorities and Multi-Party Elections

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Kjetil Tronvoll, Tobias Hagmann
BRILL, Dec 9, 2011 - Political Science - 299 pages
This book offers a comparative ethnography of the contested powers that shape democratization in Ethiopia. Although multi-party elections have become the norm in Africa, relatively little is known about the significance of non-state actors such as traditional authorities in electioneering. Focusing on Ethiopia s competitive 2005 elections, this book analyzes how customary leaders, political parties and state officials confronted and complemented each other during election time. Case studies reveal the contemporaneousness of traditional authorities in modern politics, but also how multi-party competition reproduces traditional relations of domination among ethnic groups. The book documents the importance of customary authority in selecting party candidates and providing legitimacy to political parties, but also their limitations in a country dominated by a semi-authoritarian party-state.

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Introduction Traditional Authorities and MultiParty Elections in Ethiopia
Chapter 1 Electoral Politics in the Nuer Cultural Context
Clan Elders Bureaucrats and Party Politics in the 2005 Elections
Inherited Status and Parliamentary Elections in Dawro Southern Ethiopia
Chapter 4 A Revival of Tradition? The Power of Clans and Social Strata in the Wolayta Elections
Urban Youth and Relations of Power During the 2005 Ethiopian Elections
The EPRDF the 2005 Elections and Muslim Institutions in Bale
A PostElection Assessment of Ethnicity Politics and AgeSets in Oromiya
Chapter 8 Customary Institutions in Contemporary Politics in Borana Zone Oromia Ethiopia
A Reassertion of Traditional Authority or the Extension of a Nascent Public Sphere?
Changing Discourses of Democracy

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About the author (2011)

Kjetil Tronvoll, PhD (2003) in political anthropology from LSE, is professor of human rights at the University of Oslo and Senior Partner of the International Law and Policy Institute. He has published extensively on the Horn of Africa, and his latest monograph is "War and the Politics of Identity in Ethiopia" (James Currey, 2009). Tobias Hagmann, Ph.D. (2007), University of Lausanne, is a visiting scholar at UC Berkeley. He has published on politics in the Horn of Africa and is co-editor of "Negotiating Statehood: Dynamics of Power and Domination in Africa" (Wiley Blackwell, 2011).

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