n Africa Insight - Hierarchy, power and rivalry in traditional polity of Ethiopia

Volume 45, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0256-2804


This paper discusses the basic features and local dynamics of traditional administration in Ethiopia by taking north-west Ethiopia (Gojjam) as a case in point. A study of the local history of power, hierarchy and rivalry in the traditional administration in Ethiopia is important to obtain a picture of local polity in its totality. In the Ethiopian academia, the issue of hierarchy and rivalry has not been given due attention and there is scant literature on the topic. This paper draws on both published and unpublished sources in an attempt to fill this gap as it tries to identify changes and continuities in the basic pattern of power relations and a variety of institutional features and linkages. The research begins with an extensive reading of relevant literature.

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