Contemporary Nigerian Politics: Competition in a Time of Transition and Terror

Contemporary Nigerian Politics: Competition in a Time of Transition and Terror

by A. Carl LeVan


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In 2015, Nigeria's voters cast out the ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP). Here, A. Carl LeVan traces the political vulnerability of Africa's largest party in the face of elite bargains that facilitated a democratic transition in 1999. These 'pacts' enabled electoral competition but ultimately undermined the party's coherence. LeVan also crucially examines the four critical barriers to Nigeria's democratic consolidation: the terrorism of Boko Haram in the northeast, threats of Igbo secession in the southeast, lingering ethnic resentments and rebellions in the Niger Δ, and farmer-pastoralist conflicts. While the PDP unsuccessfully stoked fears about the opposition's ability to stop Boko Haram's terrorism, the opposition built a winning electoral coalition on economic growth, anti-corruption, and electoral integrity. Drawing on extensive interviews with a number of politicians and generals and civilians and voters, he argues that electoral accountability is essential but insufficient for resolving the representational, distributional, and cultural components of these challenges.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781108459747
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 01/17/2019
Pages: 300
Product dimensions: 5.94(w) x 8.98(h) x 0.59(d)

About the Author

A. Carl LeVan is Associate Professor at the American University in Washington, DC. His is the author of Dictators and Democracy in African Development: The Political Economy of Good Governance in Nigeria (Cambridge, 2015), co-editor of The Oxford Handbook of Nigerian Politics (2018), as well as various articles on Boko Haram, civil society, Abuja's development, and authoritarianism. He also worked as a technical trainer for Nigeria's National Assembly during the 1999 transition. LeVan's other publications include the co-authored Constituents before Assembly (Cambridge, 2017), which demonstrates the benefits of participatory constitution-making worldwide. He has published articles on power-sharing, constitution-making, African cabinet size, and the US military in Africa.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction; 2. The end of a new beginning: Nigeria's transition, 1999–2015; 3. The rational counterterrorist? Economic policy and insurgent insecurity in Nigeria's 2015 presidential campaign; 4. Voting against violence? Economic uncertainty and physical insecurity in 2015; 5. Electoral integrity, ethnic affinity and religious revival in Nigeria's party turnover; 6. Subnational subversion and institutional stress; 7. Conclusion.

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