© 2013

State Fragility, State Formation, and Human Security in Nigeria

  • Editors
  • Mojúbàolú Olúfúnké Okome

About this book


Since the 1990s, attempts at democratic transition have generated hopes for 'civil society' as well as ambivalence about the state. The interdisciplinary studies gathered here explore this dynamic through the complex interactions of state fragility, self-help, and self-organization in Nigeria. Nigeria stands as a particularly interesting case, as its multifaceted associational life extends far beyond civil society organizations (CSOs) and non-governmental organizations (NGOs): as this volume reveals, there is a 'third sector' of Nigerian society encompassing everything from community self-help programs to ethno-religious affiliations to militias. Some of these formations have narrow, pragmatic aims, while others have an explicit socio-cultural or political agenda; most can be understood as compensating for the state's failure to deliver services and maintain regulatory frameworks. By examining the emergence of broader forms of civil society, this volume considers their successes while also assessing their costs and contradictions.


conflict society transformation violence

About the authors

Mike Adeyeye, Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria Olufemi Akinola, Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria Dapo F. Asaju, Lagos State University, Nigeria Harriet S. Asaju, Lagos State University, Nigeria Ayokunle Fagbemi, Center for Peacebuilding and Socio-Economic Resources Development (CePSERD), Nigeria Axel Harneit-Sievers, Heinrich Böll Foundation Olawale Ismail, King's College, London, UK Ben Naanen, University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria Fatai A. Olasupo, Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria Ayo Olukotun, University of Lagos, Nigeria Adedayo Oluwakayode Adekson, The Great Lakes Colleges Association

Bibliographic information


'Perceptive and insightful analyses of society's reaction to the structural imbalance of the Nigerian nation-state. Written by astute analysts of Nigerian studies, the chapters contained in this volume are engaging and timely - an important contribution to the study of the Nigerian state and society.' - Olufemi Vaughan, Geoffrey Canada Professor of Africana Studies & History, Bowdoin College, USA

'This fresh perspective on Nigeria's irrepressible socio-political terrain refashions our discourse on the African state, with a crisp but intimately informed exploration of spaces where citizens encounter the fragile state. The authors eschew the hackneyed focus on orthodox nongovernmental organizations, and therefore successfully capture a vibrant landscape of associational formations that are vitally present in everyday life, but neglected in the literature. These self-help organizations, rooted in contexts of region, ethnicity, religion, age, and class are not cast as the new democratic panacea, but they satisfactorily defy notions of citizen passivity and reflect alternative loci for collective voice and critical social action. Okome has provided scholars and practitioners with a provocative framework for understanding and debating the political future.' - Peyi Soyinka-Airewele, Associate Professor of International Politics, Ithaca College, USA