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The core theme of the article is focused on reexamining the "developmental state" politics in Ethiopia. Conceptually, a developmental state is a state which follows the development approach of a state-led economy. It is characterized by the existence of development oriented-political leadership, autonomous bureaucracy, production-oriented private sector, and performance-oriented governance. Based on this notion, the study aims to prove whether Ethiopia (from 1991-2018) is a developmental state or not in the Ethiopian Peoples' Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) regime by employing a qualitative research approach with secondary sources of data. Hence, EPRDF's economic-political realities are examined using theoretical frameworks and features of the developmental state. Accordingly, the study has found, first, that the rhetoric of creating efficient development-oriented political leadership in Ethiopia is aborted due to the prevalence of the economic-political culture of corruption, organized theft, and rent-seeking. Secondly, the EPRDF regime has failed to build autonomous and efficient bureaucracy. Thirdly, the private sector had forced so as not to be productive, competitive, and strong. Fourthly, through achieving high economic growth and reducing the level of poverty, the regime has relatively succeeded in performance-oriented governance even though debt crisis, high level of unemployment, and huge income disparity, the concentration of national resources prevailed amidst the poor level of industrialization. Thus, empirically, EPRDF's Ethiopia in the study's time frame has exceedingly remained as a predatory state and marginally continued as a developmental state. Accordingly, the study recommends succeeding regimes that strive to achieve sustainable economic development to take lessons from the failure of EPRDF in functioning development-oriented political leadership, production-oriented private sector, and meritocratic bureaucracy, plus realizing performance-oriented governance.
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