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Ethnic Federalism in Ethiopia and the Role of Diaspora

Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations

About the Project

Coventry University (CU) is inviting applications from suitably-qualified graduates for a fully-funded PhD studentship in the area of Ethnic Federalism in Ethiopia and the Role of Diaspora

The successful applicant will be based at the Centre for Trust, Peace, and Social Relations (CTPSR), a thriving and successful University Research Centre which has over 60 full-time researchers supported by a team of professional support staff.

CTPSR staff take a multi-disciplinary approach to their work that brings together creative thinking on concerns of trust, communities, social relations, peacebuilding, security, and on the contemporary challenges of societal relationships in a diverse and connected world. Our portfolio of excellent and impactful research seeks to change lives and enhance well-being. Our staff are extremely well-connected and are called upon to contribute their expertise on the national and international stage, as advisers to governments and international bodies or at conferences worldwide. We convene and contribute to public debates, provide effective policy guidance at local, national, regional and global levels, and generate international collaborative research through our global networks.

Details of the PhD project

This project will explore ethnic-based federalism in Ethiopia as it is experienced by the Somali ethnic community in the Ethiopian Somali Regional State (ESRS). It will also explore the extent to which the power of the diaspora community is shaping the current federal system. Through qualitative inquiry into the federal experiences of the ESRS and the political engagement of Ethiopian Diaspora, the project discovers the subject matter from the participants’ perspective. Drawing on ethnic, social and critical studies, this interdisciplinary project aims to uncover cultural values, rationales and theories behind the different viewpoints of the centripetal and centrifugal camps in relation to the existing ethnic-based federalism in Ethiopia. The literature on ethnic-based federalism in Ethiopia largely focused on either the positive utility of the concept as a conflict resolution mechanism or its negative applicability as far as the unity and stability of the country is concerned. Research has yet to explain how the Somali ethnic community have experienced the ethnic-based federalism in Ethiopia and the power of the US-based diaspora in shaping it. The purpose of the project, therefore, is to fill the knowledge gap and contribute to the body of existing literature on federalism.

Training and Development

The successful candidate will receive comprehensive research training including technical, personal and professional skills. All researchers at Coventry University (from PhD to Professor) are part of the Doctoral College and Centre for Research Capability and Development, which provides support with high-quality training and career development activities.

The successful candidate will also benefit from participation in the Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations’ Doctoral Training Programme and regular research seminars, and active involvement in the relevant Centre Research Group.

Entry criteria for applicants to PhD

• A minimum of a 2:1 first degree in a relevant discipline/subject area with a minimum 60% mark in the project element or equivalent with a minimum 60% overall module average. PLUS the potential to engage in innovative research and to complete the PhD within a 3.5 years
• A minimum of English language proficiency (IELTS overall minimum score of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each component)


UK/EU/International graduates with the required entry requirements


Full-time – between three and three and a half years fixed term

For further details see:

How to apply

To find out more about the project please contact Dr Durukan Kuzu,

To apply on line please visit:

All applications require full supporting documentation, and a covering letter – plus a 2000-word supporting statement is required showing how the applicant’s expertise and interests are relevant to the project.

Funding Notes

This is a fully-funded studentship including full tuition fees (UK/EU/International) plus stipend (based upon the applicable UKRI rate at the point of the award) and additional allowances.

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