This study examines the nexus between developmental state and democratization with references to Ethiopian democratic developmental state as the case study. The study employed qualitative research approach as the research methodology. This study is based on desk and policy review and review of literature related to developmental state and democratization in general and democratic developmental state of Ethiopia in particular. The finding of this study revealed that, though EPRDF government claim the country as democratic developmental state which is unique to Asian Authoritarian developmental state,the country identified as one of poor human right records and leading journalist jailer in the Africaeven though Ethiopia is one of the fastest growing economy in the planet. The finding of the study also disclosed that Ethiopian developmental state and democratization process is contradictory because EPRDF governments have been drawing the political legitimacy through development achievement not directly from public electionsdespite its new emerging Africa’s china and one of the fastest growing economies in the world. The finding of this study suggested that, Ethiopia should run economic growth and democratization project in a very balance way so realize democratic developmental state by opening political space, realizing freedom of speech and expression, abating jailing journalist and dissidents. EPRDF should institutionalize political reforms that underway by reformist Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed after held primer position by April 2, 2018 and the government in power should committed to fundamental principles of democratic system and protection of human rights and fundamental freedom which enshrined under FDRE constitution and international human rights instruments.
Keywords: Developmental state, democratization, Ethiopia, democratic developmental state