Volume 6 Issue 2 (2017)

In defense of Ethiopia’s adoption of “Democratic Developmental State”– Issues and Challenges

pp. 66-73  |  Published Online: December 2017  |  DOI: 10.22521/unibulletin.2017.62.5

Fesseha Mulu, Bizuayehu Daba


Under the leadership of the late Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (FDRE), Meles Zenawi, who was credited as the architect of Ethiopia’s renaissance, and the ruling Ethiopia’s People Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) adopted a political and economic ideology called “Democratic Developmental State.” As a result, the country has sustainably experienced significant economic growth in the past decade. However, some writers, opposition politicians, and scholars have criticized the Ethiopian government from the perspective of neo-liberalism as if the government intends to oppress its people and weaken opposition in the name of this new manifesto in order to remain in power. In addition, they have doubted the development stated by the government and the relevance of the adopted ideology to the national structure and bureaucracy. Thus, this desk research aims to defend the adoption of the democratic developmental state ideology in Ethiopia’s political and economic arena by taking its relevance and some of the success stories experienced since its adoption over two other dominant ideologies of “neoliberalism” and “developmental state.” The paper intends to identify some of the challenges that hinder the ideology in not having met its objectives.

Keywords: democratic developmental state, democratization, developmental state, EPRDF, fastest growing economies


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