Semahagn Abebe holds three postgraduate degrees, and has more than six years of experience in teaching and research in multidisciplinary settings. Working as an educator and a researcher in different institutions, including the National University of Ireland, McGill University, the University of Connecticut and Endicott College, Dr. Abebe has acquired experience and skills in teaching and research in areas of economic and social justice, conflict resolution, human rights, and international law.
University of Goettingen Ph.D.- 2012
- Accommodation of Cultural Rights, Decentralization, Multicultural Federalism in sub-Saharan Africa.
University of Goettingen LL.M. - 2009
- Democracy, Ethnic Diversity, Human Rights.
University of Amsterdam LL.M. - 2007
- International Economic Law and Human Rights.
Addis Ababa University LL.B. - 1996
The Last Post-Cold-War Socialist Federation: Ethnicity, Ideology and Democracy in Ethiopia, Routledge, Publisher, 2014.
The Vices of Authoritarian Developmentalism in Ethiopia, New Research Voices: International Journal of Research From the Front-line, Vol I, January 2016.
Semahagn Abebe, Nandini Ramanujam and Nicholas Calvano, ˜From Justiciability to Justice: Realizing the Human Right to Food, McGill International Journal of Sustainable Development Law and Policy, Vol II, No. 1, 2015.
The Relevance of African Culture in Building Modern Institutions and the Quest for Legal Pluralism, Saint Louis University Law Journal, Vol. 57, No 2. (2013).
The Dilemma of Adopting Ethnic Federal System in Sub-Saharan Africa in Light of the Perspectives of
Ethiopia's Experience, Journal of African Studies and Development, Vol. 4, No 7. (2012).
The Need to Alleviate the Human Rights Implications of Large Scale Land Acquisition in Sub-Saharan
Africa, Goettingen Journal of International Law, Vol. 4, No 3. (2012).
Implications of Problems of Good Governance in the Flow of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and
Transfer of Technology in Ethiopia, Ethiopian Journal of Research and Innovation Foresight, Vol. 3, No 2. (2011).
The Implications of Rules of the World Trade organization (WTO) to Ethiopia's Financial Sector Policies, Ethiopian Journal of Economics, Vol. XIX, No 1. (2010).
Keynote Speech, The Forces Affecting Migration and Refugee Crisis in the Horn of Africa, Antioch College, 14 April 2016.
Lecture, The Stifling of Democracy and the Repression of Academic Freedom in Ethiopia, Vassar College, 06 April 2016.
Lecture, The Prospects and Challenges of Democracy and Protection of Human in Rights in Ethiopia, Mercy College, 24 March 2016.
Lecture, The Prospects and Challenges of Governance and Development in Africa, Endicott College, 23 March 2016.
Presenter, The Developmental State Model in Ethiopia: An Economic Miracle or A Mode of Repression? African Studies Annual Meeting, San Diego, 20 November 2015.
Guest Speaker, ˜From the Ethiopian Classroom to Exile in America, Roger Williams University, 17 November 2015.
Guest Speaker, Transitional Justice in Repressive Regimes, The Center for Human Rights and Global Justice at NYU School of Law, 6 November 2015.
Keynote Speaker, Global Voices of Change: ˜The Challenges of Social Justice in the 21st Century, Becker College, 19 September 2015.
Guest Speaker, Human Rights Regimes and State of Africa, University of Connecticut.
Keynote Speaker, The Implications of Anti-Terrorism Laws on Freedom of Expression in sub-Saharan Africa, 3rd Annual Human Rights Undergraduate Research Workshop on Human Rights and Free Expression, Illinois Wesleyan University, February 28, 2015.
Presenter, The Human Rights Implications of Large-scale Land Acquisition in sub-Saharan Africa: the Case of Ethiopia, at Large-scale Land Acquisitions and Human Rights in the Developing World Workshop, Centre for Human Rights and legal Pluralism, McGill University, 10 December 2013.
Presenter, Institutional Accommodation of Cultural Diversity in Sub-Saharan Africa with Particular emphasis on Ethiopia's Ethnic Federal System, Fifth Annual Conference of Irish Society of Comparative Law, National University of Ireland, Galway, 24-25 May 2013.
Guest Lecturer, Democracy, Human Rights and the Ethnic Federal System in Sub-Saharan Africa: The Case of Ethiopia, A guest lecture organized by the University of Geneva, the Scholars at Risk (SAR) Network and Amnesty International, Faculty of Law, University of Geneva, 25 April 2013.
Presenter, Federalism as a Response to the Accommodation of Cultural Diversity: The Case of Ethiopia, in Perspectives on Interculturality, the Centre for Intercultural Studies, Saint Louis University, April 28-March 1, 2013.
Presenter, The WTO System and the Liberalization of the Financial Sector in Sub-Saharan Africa, in Emerging Economies in Globalized Financial Markets, Martin Luther University, Hale, 21-22 June 2012.
Presenter, Ethnic Federalism and the Protection of Human Rights in Ethiopia, in Law, Power-sharing and Human Rights, University of Antwerp, 9-12 May 2012.
Presenter, The Debate on the Compatibility of African Culture to Liberal Values and the Quest for Legal Pluralism, Centre for International and Comparative Law, Saint Louis University, 1-2 March 2012.
Presenter, The Challenges of Demarcating Internal Boundaries in Ethnically Divided Societies: the Case of Ethiopia, in Borders and Border Crossing "New Perspectives on the Horn of Africa, Academic Research Association on Horn of Africa, Humboldt University, Berlin, 30th September 1st October 2011.
Presenter, The Acquisition of Large-scale Agricultural Land by Foreign Investors in Sub-Saharan Africa and the Implications to Human Rights, Legal Research Network Conference, University of Goettingen, 15-16 September 2011.
Presenter, Constitutional Design for Multicultural Nations: The Ethiopian Perspective, in ˜Societies in Transition: Sub-Saharan Africa between Conflict and Reconciliation, University of Jena, 18-28 July 2011.
Presenter, The Challenges and Opportunities of Ethnic Federalism as a Peace Building Strategy in Post-Conflict Countries: the Case of Ethiopia, in Post-conflict Peace-building and Reconstruction in Societies Emerging from Conflict, Desmond Tutu Centre for War and Peace Studies, Liverpool Hope University, Liverpool, 17-18 June 2011.
Presenter, A New Approach to State Formation in Africa: the Transformation of the Ethiopian State from Central to Federal, in Continuities, Dislocations and Transformation: Reflection on 50 years African Independence, the German Association for African Studies, Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz, 7-11 April 2010 .
Ethiopian Satellite Television Interview on Ethiopian Constitution, 27 March 2015. http://ethsat.com/video/esat-ethiopia-discussion-on-ethiopian-constitution-with-dr-semahagn-gashu-march-27-2015/.
SBS radio Interview on The Last Post-Cold War Socialist Federation: Ethnicity, Ideology and Democracy in Ethiopia, 23 November 2014.
Ethiopia: What's Dragging Ethiopia's Democratic Governance? 25 November 2014.
Good Governance is Key to Attract U.S Investments to Africa, http://www.zehabesha.com, 8 August 2014.
Op-Ed Saudi Arabia's treatment of Ethiopians has been shameful, January 8, 2014, The Montreal Gazzete.
The Implications of Politicized Education for Academic Freedom in Ethiopia, in Scholars at Risk University Values Bulletin, New York, July 2013.
In 2014, Routledge published my book ˜The Last Post Cold-War Socialist Federation: Ethnicity, Ideology and Democracy in Ethiopia. I have also published peer-reviewed articles in, among others, the Saint Louis University Journal of Law, McGill International Journal of Sustainable Development Law and Policy, the Journal of African Studies and Development, and the Goettingen Journal of International Law.
Memberships to Professional Associations :
Board Member, African Community Education ( since 2015)
Vision Ethiopia( Since 2015)
Member, African Studies Association ( Since 2014)
Member, African Law Association (Since 2008)
Member, Amnesty International (Since 2011)
Research Fellowship, Institute of Human Rights, University of Connecticut, Since August 2014
O'Brien Fellowship, Center for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism, McGill University, 2013-2014
Bank of Ireland Post Doctoral Fellowship, Irish Center for Human Rights, National University of Ireland, 2012-13
Study Scholarship, German Academic Exchange Service, grant for LLM and PhD Study, the Faculty of Law, University of Goettingen (2007-2012).
Central themes of my scholarly research include economic and social justice, ethnicity and culture, as well as human rights in sub-Saharan Africa. One of my focus areas of scholarship relates to the interaction between economic development and human rights in sub-Saharan Africa. My research addresses the human rights implications of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in sub- Saharan Africa. Since sub-Saharan Africa needs capital and technology for ensuring sustainable development, soliciting of FDI from industrialized and emerging economies has surged in the last two decades. Nevertheless, such investment opportunities have brought about environmental degradation, expulsion of rural families and indigenous groups from their lands, and the exploitation of local communities by international companies. My research focuses on the implications of agricultural and industrial investments on human rights and the environment in Africa. I also conduct research on the prospects and challenges of achieving food security in sub- Saharan Africa.
The other research focus I work on includes the institutional accommodation of cultural and linguistic diversity in sub-Saharan Africa. The absences of appropriate institutional mechanisms to address the diverse ethnic and religious groups in sub-Saharan Africa exacerbated the processes of inclusion and exclusion of cultural communities in the region. In this regard, my research addresses the institutional models relevant to accommodate ethnic and religious diversity in sub- Saharan Africa. The other research area I engage in is related to the role of culture and traditional institutions in the African legal system. Though the post-colonial African state is characterized by the adoption of the western model of state structures, African societies are largely regulated by traditional institutions that have various levels of state recognition. In light of such a plurality of institutions, there are different issues that need to be explored in relation to the compatibility of traditional institutions to modern institutional settings.
International Law and Organizations
Social and Political Changes in Developing Countries
Issues of Global Justice
Immigration and Refugees in Comparative Perspective
Introduction to International Studies