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As an alternative development track, developmental state ideology has been openly introduced in the public policy makings of the Ethiopian state only after 2000. In essence, developmental state ideology could be understood as building the capacity of a state to address its diverse development challenges. As such, it is basically about creating enabling normative, structural, institutional, technical, and administrative environments in a given state to achieve its national development vision. In this regard, there are five defining features to evaluate as to whether a given state is indeed developmental: democratic nation building practices with committed political leadership, autonomous and effective bureaucracy, coordinated national development planning, sound social policy, and institutional capacity. In light of these conceptualizations and characterizations of the fundamentals of developmental state, the paper aims to contribute to our understanding of the actual state of developmental state ideology in Ethiopia by critically exploring and evaluating its actual performance. Accordingly, the findings of this paper reveal that Ethiopia fails to satisfy the basic standards of being a developmental state as it claims to be. Thus, the paper argues that the so-called ‘developmental state’ in Ethiopia is something that is mirage, and not actually or really embraced and practiced.

In: Bandung