Bureaucratic Neutrality among Competing Bureaucratic Values in an Ethnic Federalism: The Case of Ethiopia

Authors


Berhanu Mengistu is a professor and PhD program director in the Department of Urban Studies and Public Administration at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. He won the Old Dominion University Provost's Award for International Educator in 2004; he was a Fulbright scholar in the Republic of South Africa in 1997 and a Fulbright senior specialist in Ethiopia in 2002 and in Ukraine in 2004.

Elizabeth Vogel is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Urban Studies and Public Administration at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. In 2003, she served as a congressional fellow in Washington, DC, and she presented papers at the 2001 and 2003 International Conferences on Public Management, Policy, and Development in Ethiopia and Mozambique, respectively.

Abstract

This article uses Kaufman's theory of competing bureaucratic values as a foundation for studying bureaucratic values in a developing society. It discusses civil service reform within a socio-bureaucratic-political exchange, as well as characteristics associated with bureaucratic values and ethnic federalism. The inherent conflicts between a civil service grounded in the values of bureaucratic neutrality, representativeness, or executive leadership and practices within a government structured on the basis of ethnicity are explored. Factors related to Ethiopia's postconflict status, which further complicate the governance environment, are identified, and building blocks for postconflict governance are suggested.

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