AHRC Global Challenges Research Fund

Dr. Awol Allo, Lecturer at the School of Law, has been awarded an AHRC Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) grant of £30,000 to lead on a project titled “More Than Just Words: An Inquiry into the Transformative Promise of ‘Solidarity’ and ‘Medemer’ in Ethiopia’s Transition to Democracy.” 

The Global Research Network on Parliaments and Peoples awarded Dr. Allo (Principal Investigator) and Mr. Abdulatif Idris of Addis Ababa University (Co-Investigator), to carry out a pilot study into the normative and institutional challenges of democratization in Ethiopia’s ongoing transition. 

This collaborative project will look into the changing nature of public debate on democratization, focusing on key narratives and ideologies that contingently animate this debate. As ethnonational discourses of various shades and stripes continue to occupy the country’s center of political gravity, profoundly underpinning debates on identity politics, democratization, federalism, and citizenship, the project seeks to examine and understand how key local stakeholders with contrasting views of Ethiopia’s past and future, particularly Federal and Regional MPs, and key political executives, seek to influence the trajectory of the ongoing transition. In particular, the research aims to consider and discuss the extent to which inter-ethnic solidarity and medemer, two of the most significant normative languages touted as holding the key to healing Ethiopia’s deep divisions, could help the country’s diverse communities to transcend the deep rifts of the present, and imagine new and democratic forms of belongings.