Internal Migration, Ethnic Federalism and Differentiated Citizenship in an African Federation: The Case of Ethiopia

  • Yonatan T. Fessha
  • Beza Dessalegn
Part of the Federalism and Internal Conflicts book series (FEINCO)


This chapter discusses a ‘tension’ between internal migration and the self-rule rights of ethnic communities in Ethiopia. Making ethnicity the basis for the political and administrative organisation of the Ethiopian federation has set the stage for the emergence of tacit group-differentiated rights that are coming into conflict with the protection of the individual rights of internal migrants. This chapter argues, in turn, that differentiated citizenship is necessary but insufficient to deal with the increasingly complex dynamics of ethnic diversity within the context of multiethnic (and multinational) federations; the enshrinement of rights in these settings must ensure that the empowerment of ethnic communities does not unreasonably restrict the rights of individuals who are not members of the community.


Ethiopia Internal migration Self-rule rights Differentiated citizenship Ethnic diversity 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yonatan T. Fessha
    • 1
  • Beza Dessalegn
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.University of the Western CapeCape TownSouth Africa
  2. 2.Hawassa UniversityHawassaEthiopia
  3. 3.Postdoctoral FellowUniversity of the Western CapeCape TownSouth Africa

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