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date: 19 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter briefly reviews the development of Nigerian civil society. It demonstrates how its relationship to the state has been central in determining civil society’s structure and overall orientation toward its role in politics. The chapter discerns four “generations” of Nigerian civil society groups, each with its own distinctive character and approach to the state. Overall, the chapter finds strong evidence that civil society has played an important part in democratizing Nigeria, but that its plural character and funding needs have also imposed limits on its ability to have impact when predatory political elites work to undermine these groups.

Keywords: civil society, democratization, reform, organized labor, anticorruption, neopatrimonial

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