Federalism as an Instrument for Unity and the Protection of Minorities: A Comparative Overview: Ethiopia, India and the US

  • Legesse Tigabu Mengie


Accommodation of differences is used by federal systems to hold their units together. Lack of accommodation of diversity could lead to conflicts and pose danger for a union, particularly, in multicultural federal systems like Ethiopia. This article explores the protection of diverse groups and preservation of a union in federal systems. It involves a comparative overview of three jurisdictions: Ethiopia, India and the US. Although comprehensive discussion on the relevant principles of federalism across these federal systems cannot be done in a single article, an investigation into the three jurisdictions gives insight as these jurisdictions demonstrate substantially different federal features while they share some of the hallmarks of federalism. The US represents a territorial federal system. Indian federation is multicultural with unique centripetal tendencies and this would make it a quasi-federal system. The Ethiopian federal system, on the other hand, appears to empower ethnic groups by making them its building blocks. This article examines the accommodation of diversity and protection of minorities in such differently designed federal systems and aims at drawing relevant lessons.    

Key terms

Federalism, unity, representation of minorities, ethnic federalism

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2309-902X
print ISSN: 1998-9881