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Aspirational Principles in African Federalism: South Africa, Ethiopia and Nigeria Compared

Aspirational Principles in African Federalism: South Africa, Ethiopia and Nigeria Compared Finding a balance between diversity and social cohesion is a common concern in constitutional design: in divided societies, such a balance has often been sought through federalism. But the need to reconcile diversity and social cohesion can also be addressed through aspirational values embedded in a constitution. In fact, constitutions may entrench fundamental principles directing policies to foster equality, eliminate obstacles or require the different tiers of government to collaborate harmoniously in the performance of their functions. In exploring solidarity between different communities and cooperative government in South Africa, ethnicity as foundational value in Ethiopia, and the federal character in Nigeria, this article offers a comparative account of the three most important federations in Africa to assess how their constitutions reconcile diversity and social cohesion through aspirational principles related to federalism. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png African Journal of International and Comparative Law Edinburgh University Press

Aspirational Principles in African Federalism: South Africa, Ethiopia and Nigeria Compared

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Publisher
Edinburgh University Press
Copyright
Copyright © Edinburgh University Press
ISSN
0954-8890
eISSN
1755-1609
DOI
10.3366/ajicl.2021.0371
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Finding a balance between diversity and social cohesion is a common concern in constitutional design: in divided societies, such a balance has often been sought through federalism. But the need to reconcile diversity and social cohesion can also be addressed through aspirational values embedded in a constitution. In fact, constitutions may entrench fundamental principles directing policies to foster equality, eliminate obstacles or require the different tiers of government to collaborate harmoniously in the performance of their functions. In exploring solidarity between different communities and cooperative government in South Africa, ethnicity as foundational value in Ethiopia, and the federal character in Nigeria, this article offers a comparative account of the three most important federations in Africa to assess how their constitutions reconcile diversity and social cohesion through aspirational principles related to federalism.

Journal

African Journal of International and Comparative LawEdinburgh University Press

Published: Aug 1, 2021

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