College of social sciences
Physical location: Main Campus, Social Sciences Building
Telephone: +251 111 239650
Fax: +251 111 239652
P.O. Box: 1176, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
College/Institute: College of Social Sciences
The College of Social Sciences (CSS) was established in 1978 following the reorganization of Addis Ababa University. Six of the eight departments of the former Faculty of Arts, two departments from the former College of Business Administration, the Department Psychology from the former Faculty of Education, and the former School of Social Work were reorganized under CSS. In this process, some departments were merged while most others continued maintaining their disciplinary integrity. The newly established College started operation with nine Departments: Accounting, Applied Sociology, Economics, Geography, History, Management, Philosophy, Political Science and International Relations (together with Public Administration), and Psychology. According to the CSS general catalogue published in 1983, the reorganization “was made with the view of making the best use of the limited number of academic staff, to avoid duplication of courses, to facilitate interdisciplinary input in the curricula and to ease administrative functions.” However, some senior staff members today believe that the reorganization had to do with the ideology of socialism and socialist philosophy of education. Scholars who thought that the name 'Faculty of Arts' failed to represent the social science disciplines apparently embraced the change. Generally, the establishment of CSS was largely viewed as the consolidation of the former Faculty of Arts with a new banner.
Over the years since its establishment, CSS experienced certain changes that often resulted from departures and inclusions of departments and programs. In 1983, the Department of Psychology was retransferred to the College of Pedagogical Sciences following an argument that the discipline belongs to the educational sciences rather than to the social sciences. In 1990, the Departments of Accounting, Economics, and Management and Public Administration were also separated from CSS and formed the Faculty of Business and Economics (FBE). The departure of the three departments in 1990 heralded both good and bad news. The good news was that the College of Social Sciences gave birth to a huge faculty (FBE) thereby leaving a lasting imprint in the structural expansion of tertiary education in Ethiopia. The bad news in the immediate aftermath was that the size of the College and its dynamism inevitably decreased. However, with rapid expansion of the remaining five departments in the areas of teaching and research, CSS continued to maintain its prominence within AAU and the country at large. The 2008 division of the Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology into two departments, the launching of the new Department of Archaeology and Heritage Management in 2009, and the 2012 inclusion of the recently established School of Social Work and the Center for African Studies significantly boosted the profile of the College. In 2009, CSS was renamed Faculty of Social Sciences during which the Department of Philosophy joined the newly formed and short-lived Faculty of Humanities. In 2012, CSS was restored and the Department of Philosophy rejoined the College.
In the last 60 years, the social science disciplines excelled in teaching and made remarkable contributions to Ethiopia's human resource development, not to mention the enormous knowledge production through scientific research in the various fields. Speaking of research, it must be mentioned that a significant number of CSS staff have been engaged in a wide range of studies and continue to publish their works both locally and internationally. In 2003, the College launched the Ethiopian Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities to publish and disseminate knowledge generated within the College and beyond. It can be stated that the recent expansion of the postgraduate programs represents landmark achievements of the College. Currently, CSS runs 10 masters and six doctoral degree programs. The number of departments running masters degree in the extension and summer in-service programs are on the rise. With the exception of the Center for African Studies, all seven departments and the School of Social Work run undergraduate programs in the regular and extension divisions, and two departments run summer in-service programs as well. The College has over 140 instructors (including those on study leave and expatriate staff), about 50 support staff, and nearly 4000 student population. Admittedly, female participation in the teaching-learning process is rather limited and needs to be promoted (in 2012, 14.3% of the staff and 25.6% of overall students were women). With its rich experiences, expanding postgraduate programs, massive research undertakings (by faculty and graduating students), and publication/dissemination outlets, the College of Social Sciences is well prepared not only to advance the horizon of knowledge in the broader academic sense but also to contribute to national development efforts, trans-cultural understanding, and meeting other challenges of the 21st Century.
List of Departments/Centers/Schools under the College of Social Sciences