Monday, March 2, 2015

A Constitution for a Multinational Democratic State-Nation: The Case of Ethiopia - Dr.Negasso Gidada

Ever since the formation of the modern state of Ethiopia, the country’s diversity, represented by its roughly eighty ethnic groups, has defied common formulas for unity and democratic development. Regimes have come and gone, but the central question—whether to forge a nation-state, a multinational federation, or something else—has dominated Ethiopia’s political agenda for decades. Looking ahead to the upcoming 2015 elections and the country’s longer-term stability and development, Dr. Negaso Solan focused on the need for a constitution that mirrors Ethiopia’s ethnic diversity and that lends itself to developing a truly democratic multinational state. As former president of Ethiopia, he reflected on his experiences drafting the country’s 1995 constitution and offered recommendations for public confidence-building around future amendments. His presentation was followed by comments from Dr. John Harbeson.