Date of Conferral
Public Policy and Administration
Anne J. Hacker
Administrative rules have played a central role in Ethiopian public administration since 1994 when the current constitution was adopted. However, if the formulation and implementation of the rules are not politically controlled, and proper accountability is not applied, these same rules could become threats instead of assurances of the rule of law and order. This case study explored what strategic controls and accountability measures are in place to regulate the rulemaking process. To inform the study, the political control of bureaucracy framework in general and the principal-agency model, in particular, were used. The central research question focused on strategies that ensure the political control and accountability of rulemaking in Ethiopia. Purposive sampling methods were employed, with interviews of five legislators and five appointed officials, as well as supportive legislative documents providing the data. The data were coded and thematically analyzed using a coding framework and a continuous iterative process. The results revealed that in Ethiopia there is a constitutional framework of control and accountability, but there is no political control mechanism in place, and no accountability measures have been taken. The study findings may indicate that there is a need for further studies on administrative and judicial review mechanisms and federated states' control mechanisms to fully understand the situation. The implication for social change includes awareness and attitudinal change of lawmakers and administrative authorities towards the importance of controlling and limiting the power to make rules. Positive social change is nearly impossible where unlimited and uncontrolled power is exercised.