Nigeria Since Independence and the Impact of Non-Governmental Organizations on Democratization

Author: Bradley, Matthew Todd


“…all analysis becomes a backdrop to Bradley’s thesis that NGOs are essential to the creation, sustainability, and vibrancy of a democratic society in Nigeria and elsewhere in the world….backed by a plethora of sound arguments and analysis, based on a solid theoretical framework, and grounded on the most recent authoritative sources, Bradley’s following treatise is a refreshing, well-crafted piece of work. As such, it should add exponentially to the available literature on Nigeria’s and, for that matter, Africa’s path to democracy….will stand among the best works available on the subject on democratic reform and its future in Nigeria and elsewhere in the developing world.” – Mario J. Azevedo, Chair and Frank Porter Graham Professor, Department of African-American and Africa Studies, The University of North Carolina at Charlotte

“This study traverses theoretical and conceptual frameworks both within and beyond the Political Science discipline … with reference to the role of non-governmental organizations in nurturing and sustaining democracy in Nigeria. It explores the arrays of NGOs in Nigeria ranging from ethnic and religious spheres that helped transform the political setting to support democratic transition. It interrogates a variety of philosophical and theoretical literature in traditional and contemporary cultural sources in Nigeria and the African continent….he provides an exhaustive analysis of the domestic impediments with special reference to domestic weakness and external dependency in Nigeria. Finally, he details the lesson that can be learned from the Nigerian experience. I am confident that his text will transform the discourse revolving around democratic transition in Africa and especially with regards to Nigeria. It will provide a robust case study in which to test a range of theoretical and conceptual frameworks revolving around the democratic transition literature. It will also contribute to the growing social science literature examining the consolidation of third wave democracies in diverse regions of the Developing World.” – Darryl C. Thomas, Chair, Africana Studies Department, Binghamton University

“The most notable aspect of the manuscript is the author’s extremely thorough discussion of democracy and the conceptual framework for democratization.… integrates Western and non-Western topics on democracy in a sound theoretical framework. In tackling the roles civil society, social capital, and Non-governmental Organizations play in the democratization process in Nigeria, the author seeks to address an area of political participation that has received little attention in most African countries. Bradley’s work moves beyond the work of earlier scholars who dichotomize and bifurcate the roles of civilian governors and praetorian regimes in Nigeria by conducting a systematic analysis of the power dimensions and governing effectiveness (or lack thereof) of both civilian leaders and soldiers.” – Seth N. Asumah, State University of New York at Cortland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents:
Introduction: The Pendulum of Governance: Defining the Problem
1. Democracy: Checking Power and Balancing Liberty
2. Toward Democratizing Nigeria: Comparative Perspectives
3. Non-governmental Organizations: Policies of Instability
4. Impediments to Democracy: Domestic Weakness and External Dependence
5. Discourses of Past Experience, Cues for Future Research: A Conclusion
Bibliography; Index