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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Indigenous governance among the Southern Afar (ca. 1815-1974), Ethiopia
Author:Hassen, MohammedISNI
Periodical:Ethiopian Journal of the Social Sciences and Humanities (ISSN 1810-4487)
Geographic term:Ethiopia
traditional polities
political history
Abstract:The Afar Sultanate of Aussa has been vigorously implementing its indigenous governance since about 1815. It was the incorporation of the Sultanate into the Ethiopian central government in 1974 that ushered in the demise of its independent existence. How has the centralization of power affected the non-hierarchic system of indigenous governance? This paper identifies various elements of indigenous governance among the Afar (the sultan, tribal chiefs, the army) as well as mechanisms for keeping peace and stability in the area between 1815 and1974. It further investigates how the status quo was affected by internal and external factors that weakened the dynamics of indigenous governance resulting in the frequent occurrence of conflict. The data used for the study are qualitative and taken from a review of published and unpublished historical, ethnographic and sociological materials. Based on these data, the paper argues that the incorporation of Aussa into the imperial central government of Ethiopia had negative consequences for the indigenous governance of the relatively stable Afar communities. Bibliogr., notes, sum. [Journal abstract, edited]