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  • Author: Matthias Basedau, Michael Wahman
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Building on theoretical insights from research on the rentier state and the “resource curse,” several studies have supported the argument that oil hinders democracy. However, previous research on the rentier state has neglected the global surge of multiparty autocracies or “electoral authoritarian” regimes since the end of the Cold War. No systematic study has been carried out on the question of whether or not and how oil affects electoral contests in nondemocratic regimes. In this paper we contribute to filling this gap by combing the literature on multiparty autocracy and the political economy of the rentier state. As oil production creates substantial, nontransparent revenue streams to national and subnational governments, we hypothesize that oil production has a negative effect on electoral competitiveness, both cross‐ and subnationally, in multiparty autocracies. Consequently, the democratic “resource curse” emphasized in earlier work on the rentier state is likely to persist even after the introduction of multipartyism in cases where oil production predates democratic institutions. The paper tests the hypothesis cross‐nationally, using data on all multiparty elections held in the world in the period 1975–2010, and subnationally, using a new data set on subnational election results and oil production in Nigeria. Our results confirm that oil impedes electoral competitiveness, both cross‐ and subnationally, in multiparty autocracies.
  • Topic: Cold War, Democratization, Oil
  • Political Geography: Africa, Nigeria
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Violence in the Niger Delta may soon increase unless the Nigerian government acts quickly and decisively to address long-simmering grievances. With the costly Presidential Amnesty Program for ex-insurgents due to end in a few months, there are increasingly bitter complaints in the region that chronic poverty and catastrophic oil pollution, which fuelled the earlier rebellion, remain largely unaddressed. Since Goodluck Jonathan, the first president from the Delta, lost re-election in March, some activists have resumed agitation for greater resource control and self-determination, and a number of ex-militant leaders are threatening to resume fighting (“return to the creeks”). While the Boko Haram insurgency in the North East is the paramount security challenge, President Muhammadu Buhari rightly identifies the Delta as a priority. He needs to act firmly but carefully to wind down the amnesty program gradually, revamp development and environmental programs, facilitate passage of the long-stalled Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) and improve security and rule of law across the region.
  • Topic: Security, Political Violence, Development, Environment, Oil, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Africa, Nigeria
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Boko Haram's four-year-old insurgency has pitted neighbour against neighbour, cost more than 4,000 lives, displaced close to half a million, destroyed hundreds of schools and government buildings and devastated an already ravaged economy in the North East, one of Nigeria's poorest regions. It overstretches federal security services, with no end in sight, spills over to other parts of the north and risks reaching Niger and Cameroon, weak countries poorly equipped to combat a radical Islamist armed group tapping into real governance, corruption, impunity and underdevelopment grievances shared by most people in the region. Boko Haram is both a serious challenge and manifestation of more profound threats to Nigeria's security. Unless the federal and state governments, and the region, develop and implement comprehensive plans to tackle not only insecurity but also the injustices that drive much of the troubles, Boko Haram, or groups like it, will continue to destabilise large parts of the country. Yet, the government's response is largely military, and political will to do more than that appears entirely lacking.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Islam, Armed Struggle, Insurgency, Infrastructure
  • Political Geography: Africa, Nigeria
  • Author: Freedom C. Onuoha
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Since Nigeria's return to democracy in May 1999, armed nonstate groups have significantly undermined the country's internal security environment, largely using young men as foot soldiers. Among these groups, Boko Haram has grown to become a serious national, regional, and international concern. Estimates of the death toll from Boko Haram attacks since 2009 range as high as ten thousand fatalities. With Boko Haram and other groups seemingly gaining in strength, questions arise as to why young men join them in the first place and what the government and other actors can do to prevent it. Surveys, interviews, and focus groups conducted in Nigeria in 2013 suggest that poverty, unemployment, illiteracy, and weak family structures make or contribute to making young men vulnerable to radicalization. Itinerant preachers capitalize on the situation by preaching an extreme version of religious teachings and conveying a narrative of the government as weak and corrupt. Armed groups such as Boko Haram can then recruit and train youth for activities ranging from errand running to suicide bombings. To weaken the armed groups' abilities to radicalize and recruit young men, the Nigerian government at all levels, perhaps with support from interested international actors, could institute monitoring and regulation of religious preaching; strengthen education, job training, and job creation programs; design robust programs to aid destitute children; promote peace education; and embark on an anticorruption campaign. Addressing the conditions that make it possible for insurgents to recruit young men in Nigeria can significantly diminish the strength of the insurgency, if not eliminate it altogether.
  • Topic: Security, Islam, Terrorism, Armed Struggle
  • Political Geography: Africa, Nigeria
  • Publication Date: 11-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Nigeria's presidential, parliamentary and state gubernatorial and assembly elections, scheduled for February 2015, will be more contentious than usual. Tensions within and between the two major political parties, competing claims to the presidency between northern and Niger Delta politicians and along religious lines, the grim radical Islamist Boko Haram insurgency and increasing communal violence in several northern states, along with inadequate preparations by the electoral commission and apparent bias by security agencies, suggest the country is heading toward a very volatile and vicious electoral contest. If this violent trend continues, and particularly if the vote is close, marred or followed by widespread violence, it would deepen Nigeria's already grave security and governance crises. The government, its agencies and all other national figures must work urgently to ensure that the vote is not conducted in an explosive situation as this could further destabilise the country.
  • Topic: Security, Political Violence, Ethnic Government, Governance, Sectarian violence, Self Determination
  • Political Geography: Africa, Nigeria
  • Author: John Campbell
  • Publication Date: 11-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The April 2014 kidnapping of more than 250 schoolgirls from Chibok in northern Nigeria by the militant Islamist group Boko Haram—and the lethargic response of Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan's government— provoked outrage. But the kidnapping is only one of many challenges Nigeria faces. The splintering of political elites, Boko Haram's revolt in the north, persistent ethnic and religious conflict in the country's Middle Belt, the deterioration of the Nigerian army, a weak federal government, unprecedented corruption, and likely divisive national elections in February 2015 with a potential resumption of an insurrection in the oil patch together test Nigeria in ways unprecedented since the 1966–70 civil war.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Islam, Terrorism, Governance
  • Political Geography: United States, Nigeria
  • Author: Domenico Lombardi, Skylar Brooks, Ezra Suruma
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: On August 7 and 8, 2014, CIGI's Global Economy Program co-hosted a conference with Uganda Debt Network to discuss African perspectives on sovereign debt restructuring. The proceedings, opened by the vice president of Uganda, took place in Kampala, and featured several distinguished participants — including current and former finance ministers and central bank governors, academics and practitioners, and civil society representatives — from Uganda, Liberia, Cameroon, Ghana, Nigeria, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Participants also came from civil society organizations and intergovernmental institutions representing broader groups of African countries or the continent as a whole.
  • Topic: Debt, Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Africa, Liberia, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon
  • Author: Mireille Affa'a-Mindzie
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: After the severe twin crises that nearly brought Mali to its knees in January 2012, the country is gradually recovering from their debilitating consequences. In August 2013, Mali successfully elected its new president, Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, thus putting an end to an eighteen-month-long transitional government that was put in place following the March 2012 coup. Even though the violence has abated and renewed hope seems to be in the air, the structural causes of the Malian conflict are still stubbornly present and their consequences are still being felt by neighboring Sahel countries that suffer from similar underlying ills. The situation in Mali and other concerned states in the region generated a renewed interest in the Sahel-Sahara region and in efforts to stabilize this region. This prompted the International Peace Institute, the Executive Secretariat of the Strategy for Security and Development in the Sahel-Saharan Areas of Niger (SDS Sahel Niger), and the Centre for Strategies and Security for the Sahel Sahara (Centre 4S) to convene an international seminar on security and development in the Sahel-Sahara on February 15 and 16, 2013, in Niamey, Niger.
  • Topic: Security, Civil Society, Development, Economics, Peace Studies, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: Africa, Nigeria
  • Author: Amanda Glassman, Denizhan Duran, Rachel Silverman, Victoria Fan
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: More than ever, global health funding agencies must get better value for money from their investment portfolios; to do so, each agency must know the interventions it supports and the sub-populations targeted by those interventions in each country.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Development, Economics, Health, Humanitarian Aid, Health Care Policy
  • Political Geography: India, Philippines, Ethiopia, Nigeria
  • Author: Thomas Kwasi Tieku
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: This paper examines the impacts that luxurious perks for delegates, such as paid daily allowances, have on peace talks. Drawing on the Burundian peace processes held in Arusha in Tanzania and the Seventh Round of the Inter-Sudanese Peace Talks held in Abuja in Nigeria, shows that perks can unintentionally prolong peace talks. For some of the delegates, staying free of charge in five-star hotels and receiving the equivalent of five months' pay in one week of per diems made continued talks more attractive than achieving peace. The generous incentives seduced the conflicting parties away from whatever interest they might have had in actually reaching an agreement, encouraged delegates to create procedural barriers where none had previously existed, and promoted fragmentation among the rebel groups at the negotiating table. Though the paper uses contemporary African case studies to illustrate the argument, this issue transcends the African continent, as perks are a long-established diplomatic practice. To deal effectively with the unintended problems they create requires fundamental cultural and attitudinal changes in most international organizations.
  • Topic: Corruption, Diplomacy, International Organization, Peace Studies, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Africa, Tanzania, Nigeria