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date: 19 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Nigeria is Africa’s most populous country and arguably its most important. This introduction provides a succinct overview of the volume’s organization into six thematic areas: chapters within Part I, “Locating Nigeria in African History,” explore the historical, spatial, and cultural dimensions of Nigeria’s existence, including its colonial past and its place in the Atlantic trade. In Part II, chapters covering “political institutions” analyze Nigeria’s legislative politics since independence, its experiments with different executives, as well as federalism, electoral politics, and the operational modalities of its military regimes. Several chapters within Part III explore civil society from theoretical, comparative, and historical perspectives. This includes labor, women’s movements, and protest music. Part IV explores and explains the vicissitudes of Nigeria’s economic performance, including the impact of oil and the possibilities for reforming that problematic sector. Within Part V, several chapters study the sources of insecurity, including Boko Haram, Biafra’s secessionist revival, and farmer-pastoralist tensions. Those authors also consider sources of conflict resolution and alternative tools for public safety, such as informal security services. Part VI situates Nigeria within a globalized world, outlining its foreign policies, transnational features of its religious practices, and its leadership role in international organizations.

Keywords: colonialism, nationalism, political institutions, civil society, democratization, elections, authoritarianism, political economy, oil, Boko Haram

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