Antecedents and terminology
Nationalism is a Western ideology, which proposes that each nation should reside in its own polity - that is, nation-state, or in other words the state for one nation only. In revolutionary France, the country’s people were declared to be citizens. In turn, the thus created citizenry was defined as the French nation, understood as the ultimate font of legitimacy for the French statehood and government. In this way, the previously divine legitimation of monarchical rule was replaced with a secular (national) one (Declaration 1789). The French Revolutionary War and Napoleonic War (1792-1815) spread the model of nation-state across Europe and the Middle East (especially in Ottoman Egypt). Faced with the unprecedented effectiveness of France’s national army, defeated polities strove to copy the model of the French nation-state. Self-proclaimed anti-French German nationalists faced the stumbling block of the lack of any pre-existing polity which they would have agreed to transform into a German nation-state and its population into a German nation. The Holy Roman Empire might have served this purpose had it not been dissolved in 1806 under Napoleon’s pressure. After much discussion, German poet Ernst Moritz Arndt provided a reply to this German national dilemma in his 1813 patriotic song. In this song, he proposed to equate the German nation with all the speakers of the German language and their desired nation-state with the territory compactly inhabited by this language’s speakers (Arndt 1813). This is the succinct definition of ethnolinguistic nationalism. In the case of French (civic) nationalism, state equals nation, while in this German case of ethnic (ethnolinguistic) nationalism, language equals nation, which equals state. In the former case, state is primaiy, while in the latter, language is primary, and state is of a merely tertiary importance. Subsequently, ethnolinguistic nationalism spread across Central and Eastern Europe (SundhauBen 1973), before becoming the norm of statehood creation, legitimation and maintenance in this region after the Great War (Kamusella 2018).
The re-establishment of the monarchical order in Central Europe at the Congress of Vienna in 1815 hindered the rise of nation-states in this corner of Europe (though with Western European and Russian help, they kept springing up in the Balkans at the expense of the Ottoman Empire). A semblance of the Holy Roman Empire was put back on the political map of Europe in the form of the German Confederation. The Austrian Empire dominated this confederation, but half of this empire’s lands (i.e. the Kingdom of Hungary) were located outside the confederation. The same situation was observed in the case of Prussia, with half of this kingdom’s lands located in the confederation and the other half outside. The economically burgeoning Prussia pressed for including all the German-speaking polities in a future German nation-state. This Grofideutsche (‘Greater Germany’) solution would have sundered the Austrian Empire apart, three-quarters of its inhabitants not being German speakers. Faced with Austria’s understandable opposition, after the 1866 Austro-Prussian War, victorious Prussia pressed on with the Kleindeutschland (‘Little Germany’) solution, or the unification of Prussia with all the confederation’s polities located outside the Austrian Empire. The German Empire, founded in 1871, produced a ‘iift/e’ German nation-state -that is, without the German speakers of Austria-Hungary. This German Empire was a territorial (not ethnic) federation (literally, Bundesstaat, or ‘federal state’) composed of 26 constitutive polities (i.e. kingdoms, duchies, principalities, free cities and an imperial territory), created for the single (unitary) German nation (Volk) that on the ideological plane of ethnolinguistic nationalism also encompassed Austria-Hungary’s German speakers (Die Verfassung 1871: 64). Subsequently, the German Empire was increasingly made into a unitary state, on the model of France, until any semblance of federalism had vanished by the mid 1930s under Adolf Hitler’s national socialist (nazi) rule. In 1938, Germany annexed Austria, and in this way, practically all Germans (commonly identified as German speakers) found themselves in a single and unitaiy nation-state of their own, in wartime Germany. Amid World War II (1943), this nation-building success was marked by the change of the state’s name to Greater German Empire, which proved short-lived (Schulze 2010).
The German term Volk has two meanings: ‘a people’ and ‘[ethnolinguistic] nation.' The originally French or Latinate term Nation (‘[civic] nation’) also exists in German but is not used in the German or Central European political tradition for building or legitimating the nation, which in the German or Austrian context has been invariably referred to as Volk during the past two centuries. German-speaking scholars delineate this distinction between the political concept of Volk typical for Central Europe and that of nation predominating in Western Europe (and nowadays also outside Eurasia) by referring to them in academese as Kulturnation and Staatnation, respectively. In the former case, language (identified with culture, or Kultur in German) constitutes the ‘normal’ basis for forming a nation, while in the latter, a pre-existing state (Staaf) does (Lemberg 1967-1968).
As mentioned earlier, in the late 1870s, Meiji Japan borrowed the German model of ethnolinguistically homogenous and unitary nation-state from the German Empire (Tsuzuki and Young 2009). The Japanese Imperial Constitution, promulgated in 1890, translated the German term Volk into the neologism minzoku, composed of two characters, namely K min ‘a people’ and zoku ‘family’ (Dainihonteikokukenpo 1889; Die Japanische 1940). Subsequently, many Japanese students and officials entered German universities and visited Germany. In this way, they learned about the ethnolinguistic model of the German nation (Volk) and transplanted it wholesale to Japan. The German concept of Muttersprache (literally ‘mother tongue’), employed as the ideologized synonym for German in the meaning of the national language of the German Empire, yielded the Japanese neologism ІЇІІ5 kokugo, constructed from the characters й кипі ‘country’ and In go ‘word, language’ (Heinrich 2012: 60—66). This German ideological package came complete with the policy of the ethnolinguistic (and partly, ethnoconfessional) homogenization of the nation-state, meaning the ban or suppression of the use of any other languages, so that every inhabitant would employ only the Muttersprache, thus proving their membership in the Volk (cf Fitzpatrick 2015). The Japanese readily emulated this policy of Germanization with their own policy of Japanization for the growing Japanese Empire (Yeounsuk 2010: 160-169). In the early 20th century, these two examples of the economically and militarily highly successfill nation-states of Germany and Japan convinced the Ethiopian elite to adopt this model. It appeared that building a nation through the policy of the ethnolinguistic homogenization of the nation-state was the ‘most progressive’ way of modern politics outside Europe, should a non-European polity seek to escape colonization by a Western power.
In the Western ideology of colonialism, a ‘civilizing mission' in the form of a military-assisted seizure of non-Western territories and polities was considered legitimate as long as the non-European polity in question had not ‘modernized’ (i.e. Europeanized) itself yet (Chinweizu 1987: 211). In the case of Ethiopia, such hallmarks of Europeanization, before the adoption of the model of ethnolinguistic nation-state, were Christianity as the state religion and the rapid acquisition of firearms from Europe (Teshale Tibebu 1995: 51). What is more, Ethiopia’s 1896 victory over Italy, as an aspiring imperial power, bolstered the international status of Ethiopia as an independent country. This victory of a non-Western country over a Western colonial power became an early inspiration for anticolonial movements, before Japan defeated the Russian Empire in 1905 (cf Pham and Shilliam 2016: 7).
The legitimacy of the Habsburg Monarchy was seriously shaken by the 1866 defeat at Prussian hands. As a result, in 1867, the Austrian Empire was transformed into the Dual Monarchy of Austria-Hungaiy. This new state remained a //on-national polity but at the price of concessions to ethnolinguistic national movements at the substate level. First of all, the eastern half of the Dual Monarchy, or the Kingdom of Hungary, was made into an ethnolinguistically defined Hungarian nation-state. The ‘Austrian half' was officially known as the Kingdoms and Lands Represented in the Imperial Council (Die ini Reichsrat vertretenen Königreiche und Länder). Gradually, besides the imperial language of German, also Czech (Czech and Moravian), Italian, Polish, Romanian, Serbo-Croatian (Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian), Slovak, Slovenian and Ruthenian (Ukrainian) were recognized as official or co-official languages in some crownlands (regions). Ethnic groups speaking different languages were identified in accordance with the tenets of ethnolinguistic nationalism, but in legislation, they were referred to as ‘nationalities’ (Volkstämme, literally ‘tribes’), not nations (Völker) (Judson 2017; Wandruszka and Urbanitsch 1980). In light of the Austro-Hungarian legislation, nationalities had the right to territorial autonomy, but not to independence. Article 19 of the Austrian half’s 1867 Basic Law on the General Rights of Citizens distinguished between Volkstamm (nationality, literally ‘people-tribe,’ i.e. ethnic group) and Nationalität (literally ‘nationality’), meaning the essential qualities and features of a Volkstamm and the fact of one’s membership in such a Volksstanim (Staatsgrundgesetz 1867). In the Austro-Hungarian public discourse and press, this distinction soon became blurred, because Nationalität and Volksstanim began to be used as synonyms for ‘ethnic group.' Hence, at present, the preferred English translation of Volksstanim is ‘nationality.’13
The Soviet model of ethnolinguistic (ethnoterritorial) federation was borrowed from Austria-Hungary. Vladimir Lenin was surprised, contrary to Karl Marx’s prediction, that workers - instead of flocking to communist
Table 0.1 Terminology of etlinolinguistic nationalism across languages
(socialist) parties on the basis of their class interest - predominantly threw their lot with their co-ethnics of different (social and economic) classes. When in 1912 his pupil Joseph Stalin visited Lenin in Cracow (then in Austria-Hungary), the latter decided to send Stalin on a fact-finding mission to Vienna. The idea was to learn how the non-national polity of Austria-Hungary contained the sociopolitical force of ethnolinguistic national movements. At that time, the issue was intensively discussed and analyzed by the Dual Monarchy’s social democrats (marxists), including Otto Bauer (1907) and Karl Kautsky (1908). Stalin gathered his reflections on this subject in his 1913 essay Marxism and the National Question (Stalin 1954).14 After 1922, it became the blueprint for the Soviet Union’s federal structure, composed of ethnolinguistically defined union republics (Blank 1994). Stalin defined the nation as ‘a historically constituted, stable community of people, formed on the basis of a common language, territory, economic life, and psychological make-up manifested in a common culture’ (Stalin in Hao 2016: 311).
However, the adoption of the German-language terminology into the Soviet Union’s Russian nomenclature was anything but straightforward. The Russian term народ narod ‘people’ or ‘a people’ was preferred to нация natsiia ‘nation.’ In reality, the term narod often doubles as ‘nation’ in Russian; hence, the term советский народ sovetskii narod for all the Soviet Union’s inhabitants was variously translated into English as ‘Soviet people’ or ‘Soviet nation.’ In the discussion on the Soviet Union’s ethnolinguistic diversity, the term народность narodnost’ ‘nationality’ was employed as the preferred translation of the German term Nationalitdt/Volksstamm. However, at times, narodnost’ was used interchangeably with the term национальность natsional ’nost ’ ‘nationality.' In the interwar Soviet Union, the administrative and ideological distinction between these two variants was at times maintained: national’nost’ used for referring to ‘developed nationalities’ and narodnost’ for ‘culturally backward nationalities.’ The litmus test was whether a nationality had already enjoyed its own written language, alongside a publishing industiy and educational system in the medium of this language. In the latter case, such a written language, alongside a publishing industry and educational system in its medium, were to be created for such a ‘backward nationality’ (narodnost”), which would thus be transformed into a ‘developed nationality’ (natsional’nost’). The process of such mass creation of languages for the sake of ‘socialist development’ during the interwar period was known in the Soviet Union as the policy of коренизация korenizatsiia (literally ‘rooting in’) - that is, ‘nativization’ or ‘indigenization.’ Part and parcel of this process was endowing each nationality or its fragment with an ethnolinguistically defined autonomous territory (Martin 2001). Over 17,000 such autonomous territories were created at different administrative levels, from union republics to autonomous villages and autonomous kolkhozes (Martin 2001: 413). However, in 1938, the policy was rolled back to around 51 ethnolinguistically defined union republics and autonomous republics and districts (Martin 2001: 446).
After World War II, the Soviet model of ethnolinguistic federation was introduced, with some local variations: in communist Yugoslavia (Blagojevic 1974), India (Brass 1990; Modak 2006; Schwartzberg 2009) and communist China (Mullaney 2012). Perhaps the non-Western examples of India and China, alongside Soviet support for the revolution, convinced communist (Soviet-Derg) Ethiopia to adopt ethnolinguistic decentralization (Klinger 1992: 46; Yordanov 2017: 134-135). In this attempt, Addis Ababa mostly emulated the Chinese model, as an appropriate model of statehood for Ethiopia. Article 1 of the 1987 Constitution refers to Ethiopia’s population as ‘a people’ (UTidl hizib) (rather than ‘nation,’ h?C âger). In Article 2 the country’s various ethnic groups are recognized as ‘nationalities’ (Orlbdf)0•F bihëreseboch) defined through their languages (^')^5P'F k’wanik’wawoch) (The Constitution of the People’s Democratic Republic of Ethiopia 1987). These usages are immediately reminiscent of the Soviet terms narod and narodnost’. This is unsurprising given that they were thoroughly codified in Amharic and introduced into sociopolitical practice through the extensive 580-page yemarikisïziin lënînïzinii mezigebe k’alat ЛЛГНТ3
(The Dictionary of Marxism-Leninism) (yeniarikisizim 1978 EC ), published in 1986. These usages closely followed the tenets of the Soviet Union’s state ideology of marxism-leninism.
The 1995 postcommunist Constitution of the Ethiopian Federation implicitly ranked the country’s ethnic groups into ‘nations’ ('flffbC bihër), ‘nationalities’ (<1<4ъ^(10 bihëreseb) and ‘peoples’ (rhliO hizib) (Ethiopia -Constitution 1994). However, in light of Article 39.5, from the purely legal standpoint, the three terms are synonymous and provide the identical right to national self-determination. Hence, these three terms are often used interchangeably in federal and regional legislation for the sake of referring to Ethiopia’s recognized ethnic (ethnolinguistic) groups.
The administrative organization of the federation, however, suggests a hierarchy of ethnic groups. Indeed, Ethiopia pursued a multitiered approach to territorial autonomy, in which apparently ‘bigger’ ethnic groups (‘nations’) such as the Tigrayans, Amharas, Oromos and Somalis were given their own ‘titular’ and eponymous regions - or rather regional states (flAA kilil) - in which they constitute the majority of the population. In contrast, several dozen (around 80) smaller ethnic groups ("nationalities, nations and peoples’) were put together to create ‘multiethnic’ regions - for instance, the SNNPR, Gambela and Benishangul-Gumuz regions. In turn, within such multiethnic regions, numerous ethnic groups are given their own ‘titular’ and often-eponymous subregional administrative entities, namely ‘zones’ (HT zone), ‘woredas’ (<£¿3 wereda, literally ‘district, region’), or ‘special woredas’ (ЛЄ liyu wereda) and kebeles (ФП A k’ebele, literally ‘neighborhood’) at the level of small towns (municipalities) and villages (Subdivisions 2019).
This system closely emulates the Soviet model of ethnically defined union republics (союзный республика soiuznyia respublika), autonomous republics (автономная республика avtonoinnaia respublika), autonomous oblasts (автономная область avtonoinnaia oblast’, literally ‘region’) and autonomous okrugs (автономный округ avtonomnyi okrug, literally ‘district’). After World War II, communist China borrowed the Soviet system of multitiered autonomous regions - that is, autonomous regions (1=1 ід IK
Table 0.2 Pyramids of autonomous national (ethnolinguistically defined) territories
zizhiqil), autonomous prefectures (§ 7p)'l‘| zizhizhou) and autonomous counties (i=| '/нй zizhixian). In China, there are also ethnic townships
tninzu xiang) and ethnic villages nu'nzu cun) (Autonomous Administrative 2019). These were borrowed from the interwar Soviet Union, where national districts (национальный район natsional 'nyi raiori), national villages (национальный сельсовет natsional'nyi sel’sovet, literally ‘village council’) and national kolkhozes (национальный колхоз natsional’nyi kolkhoz, literally ‘collective farm') existed until 1938 (Martin 2001: 413). It appears that at present, Addis Ababa does not intend to implement similar autonomous entities at the level of a single kebele (commune), as a matter of course. But constitutionally, it is possible, and two such nationality kebe-les (ОТъ^ГИ) +П A bihereseb k’ebele) were founded in Gambela.
menigisite also means ‘kingdom’ or ‘government,’ though in the latter case, the word is usually spelled a bit differently, namely menigisiti.
Ethiopian Empire could be usefully compared with their counterparts in the Ottoman Empire for instance, the core imperial populations of the Amliaras in
the former and the Turks in the latter. In the imperial period, the Turks were overwhelmingly contained to Anatolia, while the Amliaras to the Ethiopian Plateau. These ‘imperial cores’ interacted - through succession conflicts, the appointment of regional governors, economic impositions or military expeditions - with the non-Turkic or non-Amharic peripheries that in terms of space and demography were more extensive than were the aforementioned imperial cores. A similar situation was observed in Austria-Hungary or the Soviet Union (though not in Germany or in Japan). Yet the focus of our book on the vagaries of the transfer of models of statehood from Central Europe to Ethiopia does not allow us to tackle this challenge. On top of that, the three authors do not have a knowledge of Osmanhca or Turkish, indispensable for accessing necessary material. We decided to include a footnote on this highly interesting comparative subject for further research within the scope of imperial studies, hoping that a scholar will probe into it in the near future.
in Georgian) first publication where he employed his nom-de-plume ‘Stalin’ (literally ‘man of steel,’Сталин in Russian; Ьфооробо st'alini in Georgian).
The 1931 Constitution