Koncepcja etnicznej izby wyższej w dwuizbowym parlamencie w państwie afrykańskim (część I)

Afryka 35:30-42 (2011)
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Krzysztof Trzciński, ‘The Concept of an Ethnic Upper Chamber in a Bicameral Parliament in an African State (Part 1).’ The article has been published in “Afryka” 34, 2011, pp. 30-42. It consists of two parts. Part 1 explains Nigerian political thinker Claude Ake’s concept of the ‘chamber of nationalities,’ in the context of the idea of recognizing and strengthening the ethnic groups’ rights in a multiethnic African state. According to the concept, in an African state, a bicameral parliament should be constituted. Its upper house should be created based on the existing ethnic divisions, allowing all ethnic groups to be represented in a balanced way and thus empowering the smaller of them. Implementation of this concept may contribute to the building of more peaceful and politically stable states in Africa. Ake’s opinions are enriched with the views of a Sierra Leonian philosopher George M. Carew that seem useful in the analysis of the whole concept. Next, a case study of the Ethiopian parliament’s upper chamber, House of Federation, is discussed. That chamber is a product and an essential part of the ethnic federalism system currently existing in Ethiopia. This case resembles Ake’s concept in many ways. Then, the Nigerian philosopher Ifeanyi A. Menkiti’s ideas, having some common points with the Ethiopian territorial structure and political system as a whole, are explained. Menkiti’s views teach what may be the realities of an ethnic federalism system, especially in an undemocratic environment. His opinions also seem complementary with some of Ake’s ideas concerning the ‘chamber of nationalities’ concept.

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Krzysztof Trzcinski
Jagiellonian University


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