Democracy and Nigeria’s Fourth Republic
Title Details

416 Pages

23.4 x 15.6 cm

33 b/w illus.

Series: Western Africa Series

Series Vol. Number: 19

Imprint: James Currey

Democracy and Nigeria’s Fourth Republic

Governance, Political Economy, and Party Politics 1999–2023

Edited by Wale Adebanwi

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Examines Nigeria's challenges with consolidating democracy and the crisis of governance arising from structural errors of the state and the fundamental contradictions of the society in Nigeria's Fourth Republic reflect a wider crisis of democracy globally.

'Today we are taking a decisive step on the path of democracy,' the newly sworn-in President Olusegun Obasanjo told Nigerians on 27 May 1999. 'We will leave no stone unturned to ensure sustenance of democracy, because it is good for us, it is good for Africa, and it is good for the world.' Nigeria's Fourth Republic has survived longer than any of the previous three Republics, the most durable Republic in Nigeria's more than six decades of independence. At the same time, however, the country has witnessed sustained periods of violence, including violent clashes over the imposition of Sharia'h laws, insurgency in the Niger Delta, inter-ethnic clashes, and the Boko Haram insurgency. Despite these tensions of, and anxieties about, democratic viability and stability in Nigeria, has democratic rule come to stay in Africa's most populous country? Are the overall conditions of Nigerian politics, economy and socio-cultural dynamics now permanently amenable to uninterrupted democratic rule? Have all the social forces which, in the past, pressed Nigeria towards military intervention and autocratic rule resolved themselves in favour of unbroken representative government? If so, what are the factors and forces that produced this compromise and how can Nigeria's shallow democracy be sustained, deepened and strengthened? This book attempts to address these questions by exploring the various dimensions of Nigeria's Fourth Republic in a bid to understand the tensions and stresses of democratic rule in a deeply divided major African state. The contributors engage in comparative analysis of the political, economic, social challenges that Nigeria has faced in the more than two decades of the Fourth Republic and the ways in which these were resolved - or left unresolved - in a bid to ensure the survival of democratic rule. This key book that examines both the quality of Nigeria's democratic state and its international relations, and issues such as human rights and the peace infrastructure, will be invaluable in increasing our understanding of contemporary democratic experiences in the neo-liberal era in Africa.
Foreword: Democratization and Nigeria's Fourth Republic: Successes and Challenges
Kayode Fayemi, Governor of Ekiti State of Nigeria

Nigeria's Fourth Republic: An Introduction
Wale Adebanwi

1. Reconstructions, Resilience and Relevance: Political Elites and Ethnic Mobilization, 1999-2019
Eghosa E. Osaghae
2. Federalism, Constitutional Reform, and the Elusive Quest for "Political Restructuring" in Nigeria's Fourth Republic
Rotimi Suberu
3. Democracy in Nigeria: Crises and Consequences of Military Dictatorship
Browne Onuoha

4. Democratic Regression, Political Parties and the Negation of the Popularity Principle
Jibrin Ibrahim
5. A Republic of Dashed Hopes? Party Politics and the Travails of Democracy in Nigeria's Fourth Republic
Adigun Agbaje
6. Governing Party Constituency-building in Nigeria's Fourth Republic
Sa'eed Husaini
7. Presidential Leadership Styles in the Fourth Republic
Aliyu Modibbo Umar and V. Adefemi Isumonah
8. Double Standards or Different Lenses? Comparing US Approaches to the Buhari and Abacha Governments
Matthew T. Page

9. We live in the Future: Is Nigeria no longer an Oil State?
Sarah Burns and Olly Owen
10. Economic Reforms and Human Development in Post-Military Nigeria: A Critical Assessment
Eyene Okpanachi

11. The Promise and Problems of Electoral Reforms
Nkwachukwu Orji
12. From a Human Rights Movement to Civil Society: Changing Contours of Civic Groups
Idayat Hassan
13. Communal Conflicts, State Responses, and Local Peace Infrastructure
Gbemisola Animasawun

Afterword: Nigeria's Long Search for a Viable Political Order
Larry Diamond

Wale Adebanwi is Presidential Penn Compact Professor of Africana Studies, University of Pennsylvania. He is the author of Nation as Grand Narrative: The Nigerian Press and the Politics of Meaning (2016) and editor of The Political Economy of Everyday Life in Africa (2017).

"This book is the most comprehensive, dispassionate and critical evaluation of the trials and tribulations of Nigeria's democratic development in the Fourth Republic, undertaken by some of the most distinguished scholars on/of Nigeria. Fresh insights are offered by the contributors, towards a better understanding of the complex issues which constrain or obstruct progress and development, and which require the most urgent consideration and resolution. Reading this book is intellectual exciting and immensely beneficial." Attahiru Jega, professor of political science and former Chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)
"Nigeria's Fourth Republic has lasted longer than its three predecessors combined, yet it is highly contested. What explains the paradox? Wale Adebanwi has assembled a dream team of scholars and analysts to explore key issues in government, politics, and public affairs: federalism, ethnicity, elections, human rights and economy. The contributors to this important volume explain the dynamics of party politics and the evolution of the federal system without major constitutional revision. During a period of heightened instability in west Africa, and global challenges such as the pandemic, Russia-Ukraine war, rising fuel and food prices, and climate change, much depends on the resilience of Africa's largest electoral democracy. An extensive bibliography complements the chapters in this vital sourcebook on Africa's pivotal nation." Richard Joseph, author of Democracy and Prebendal Politics: The Rise and Fall of Nigeria’s Second Republic



September 2023

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Title Details

416 Pages

2.34 x 1.56 cm

33 b/w illus.

Series: Western Africa Series

Series Vol. Number: 19

Imprint: James Currey