Ethiopia has been lauded for its economic growth and progress in human development indicators. For some, that success is rooted in the developmental state approach advocated by the government. For others, the theory of the developmental state and the practice in Ethiopia were often at odds. Up until 2018, ideas that challenged the state and its approaches were not welcome, and politicians, academics and journalists were jailed for expressing alternative views. However, this appears to have changed, and in June 2018 the Deputy Prime Minister called for debate on the developmental state model. This article explores Ethiopia's developmental state model using the building stability framework, analysing its ability to establish fair power structures, foster inclusive economic growth, develop conflict-resolution mechanisms, create effective and legitimate institutions, and enable a supportive regional environment. We find the developmental state was effective in a number of ways, but that this modality of governance appears to have passed its peak of securing advantage in Ethiopia. A shift from the developmental state to developmental democracy appears to be underway. Decision-making and economic policies need to align with this change.

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Development Policy Review
Arthur Kroeger College of Public Affairs

Dejene, M. (Melisew), & Cochrane, L. (2019). Ethiopia's developmental state: A building stability framework assessment. Development Policy Review. doi:10.1111/dpr.12414