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FRIHUMSAM-Fri prosj.st. hum og sam

The end or the beginning of conflict? Post-war power sharing in the multi-ethnic polities of Ethiopia and Sudan

Tildelt: kr 3,7 mill.

The point of departure is that power sharing arrangements alone are by no means a quick fix to the successful accommodation of ethnic diversity. All according to context, similar institutional models may have detrimentally different outcomes in different states and among a state's sub-communities. Through a comparative study of Ethiopia and Sudan, this project will explore how the institutional arrangements introduced at the end of civil wars (1991 in Ethiopia and 2005 in Sudan) are interplaying with the two countries' past and present political and socio-economic situations, together producing the potential for peaceful co-existence between ethnic groups. The theoretical approach of this project is leaning on the Africanist tradition in political science , which stresses cultural and historical factors in the understanding of political institutions. In Ethiopia and Sudan's civil wars, the right to self-determination was the key demand from the insurgents against the central government. The inequality that motivated the insurgents is a product of pre-colonial or indigenous patterns of exploitation. This exploitative past has undermined the development of all-inclusive national identities. A crucial difference between the power sharing models in Sudan and E thiopia, however, is the treatment of ethnicity as a political and organisational concept. They constitute therefore good comparative cases on different types of federal arrangements influence on identity politics. Another commonality is the continuance o f authoritarian political practices up to the present and a perpetual quest for self-determination also after the introduction of the power sharing. This is illustrating that power sharing under authoritarian regimes may have a destabilising rather than r econciliatory effect. The crucial pre-conditions for peace therefore may not be the power sharing arrangements themselves, but rather a combination of factors, involving at least an inclusive democracy.


FRIHUMSAM-Fri prosj.st. hum og sam