SPECIAL ISSUE
CONTENTS
  • Section A) The theory and practise of the federal states and multi-level systems of government
  • Section B) Global governance and international organizations
  • Section C) Regional integration processes
  • Section D) Federalism as a political idea
  • Suberu Rotimi
    Federalism in Africa: The Nigerian Experience in Comparative Perspective
    in Ethnopolitics , Volume 8, Issue 1 - Special Issue: Federalism, Regional Autonomy and Conflict, March ,  2009 ,  67-86
    Although it is often portrayed in global terms as a dysfunctional and failed state, oil-rich Nigeria in the comparative African context has been relatively successful in overcoming and containing the syndrome of state disintegration and large-scale internal disorder that has afflicted some of the continent's other large multiethnic states, including the Democratic Republic of Congo and Sudan. Nigeria's relative stability derives significantly from its unique federal structure, which has been reconfigured since the 1967-1970 civil war from an unstable union of three unwieldy ethnic regions into a more integrated, 36-unit, multiethnic federation. This federal system has helped to cross-cut major ethnic identities, foster inter-regional integration, promote inter-group equilibrium and generally cauterize potentially destabilizing centrifugal challenges to Nigeria's continuity and survival as a single political community. At the same time, however, the system's rampant political corruption has perverted intergovernmental decentralization, fuelled local-level antagonisms, strained national unity and undermined socio-economic development, all of which tend to detract from the potential value of the Nigerian experience as a possible model for conflict management and the governance of diversity elsewhere in Africa and the developing world.
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