MA Federalism and Local Government Studies

Program level: 

Credits (ECTS): 



Program starts every year, first semester.



Duration in semesters: 

4 semesters


Ever since the introduction of the federal system in Ethiopia, there has been an increased demand for professionals qualified in the area of federalism at the federal, regional and local government levels and in the higher learning institutions. The due implementation of federalism in Ethiopia has been seriously hampered by a shortage of competent, skilled professionals to ensure the operation of federal institutions in the legislative, executive and judicial bodies at federal, regional and local government levels. This limitation has generated a high need for a masters program in federalism studies.

The establishment of this programme is further justified by the post 2001 development in state constitutional restructuring with a view to decentralizing power and resources from the regions to the wereda . The level of decentralization that has been pursued since then and the achievements and challenges encountered in terms of implementing such decentralization merit a careful investigation as such decentralization has serious impact on the local population in terms of improving their way of life, development and peace. Of late, there is also a significant development and interest in understanding emerging cities as autonomous units. The MA program in federalism and local government studies is launched against this background covering a range of issues that are of relevance not only to the emerging multicultural federal practice in Ethiopia but also to Africa and other multicultural societies elsewhere.

It promotes teaching and research in the fields of federal political philosophy, the history and theory of federalism, federal political systems, comparative federalism, federalism and human rights, federalism as a conflict management tool, fiscal federalism, aspects of adjudicating federal disputes, federalism and intergovernmental relations, state constitutions, local government and good governance. Accordingly, the overall objective of the program is to contribute to the discourse on federalism in general and to  strengthen the federal system of Ethiopia in particular by producing competent professionals at the federal, regional and local levels and conducting quality research and consultancy in the various fields of federalism.

Prerequisites & Requirements

To be admitted to this program, a candidate must:

  1. have first degree in Law, Economics, Political Science and International Relations, Sociology, Public Administration, Development Administration, Business Management, Development Management, History and related disciplines in the social sciences (as will be decided by the institute) from a recognized higher education institution;
  2. be public servant; and
  3. pass entrance examination of the institute


Exit Level Outcomes

After completing the program, the graduate is able to:

  • Point out the philosophical, political and economic theories underlying federalism;
  •  Identify the strengths and weaknesses of federalism as a mechanism of nation and state building;
  • Explain the societal and institutional factors that determine the success of federalism;
  • Implement knowledge of federalism to resolve inter ‐ governmental problems at federal, regional and local levels of government;
  • Develop ways of implementing the federal structure and processes towards realizing its economic and political objectives;
  • Monitor the performance of major federal institutions in the implementation of the various dimensions of federalism, decentralization and good governance;
  • Develop policy alternatives to federal, regional and local governments in order to overcome or remedy the challenges of federalism and decentralization in Ethiopia;
  • Conduct research on various dimensions of federalism, decentralization and good governance; 
  • Develop tools for building capacities of practitioners of federalism, decentralization and good governance at federal, regional and local government levels.

Individual Clients

The program is primarily designed for practitioners of federalism at federal, regional and local levels. It is, however, also open for those interested in pursuing high ‐ level academic study on several aspects of federalism with a view to serving as policy analysts, advisors and consultants

Other stakeholders

Academic,research and non‐governmental institutions may be interested in the program due to its special focus.


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  • MO to TH: 8:15 - 12:15 / 1:30 pm - 5:15 pm
  • FR: 8:15 - 11:30 / 1:30 pm - 5:15 pm
  • Hot line: +251-0116-46-30-15
  • Student Admission: +251-0118-33-31-82 / 86
  • Student Registrar: +251-0118-33-31-93 / 94
  • IPRD Phone: +251-0116-46-28-87

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