© 2013

Development and Diffusionism

Looking Beyond Neopatrimonialism in Nigeria, 1962–1985

  • Authors

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xviii
  2. Jeremiah I. Dibua
    Pages 149-168
  3. Jeremiah I. Dibua
    Pages 169-183
  4. Back Matter
    Pages 185-255

About this book


This book deconstructs the neopatrimonial paradigm that has dominated analysis of Nigerian and African development. It shows that by denying agency to Nigerian societies and devaluing indigenous culture and local realities, Eurocentric diffusionism played a significant role in the failure of development planning.


Africa culture development planning state

About the authors

Jeremiah I. Dibua is a Professor of History and coordinator, Graduate Programs in History and African American Studies at Morgan State University, Baltimore, USA. He has published extensively on modern African history, politics and economy, and on the political economy of development. He is the author of Modernization and the Crisis of Development in Africa: The Nigerian Experience (2006).

Bibliographic information


'I find this book to be cogent in its arguments and criticisms, and apt and rigorous in its theoretical analysis. It represents par excellence a good blend and balance of theoretical and empirical analyses and it is a paradigm of how theoretical and empirical analyses can mutually support and inform each other to produce a good scholarly work. As a philosopher whose interest is primarily in theoretical work, I find this book to be invaluable to people, especially African philosophers, who are interested in the theories and philosophy of development, and the idea of using philosophical theories to inform the practical issues of development in Africa.' - Polycarp Ikuenobe, Professor of Philosophy, Kent State University, USA

'Revisionist in its approach and erudition, the book shifts the locus of inquiry into Africa's development challenges from neopatrimonialism to Euro-American hegemony and globalism within the context of neo-colonialism and the Cold War. It is a significant contribution to the discourses on development policies and implementation strategies, their attendant hiccups, and the role of the state and external forces in the process.' - Apollos Okwuchi Nwauwa, Professor of History & Director, Africana Studies Program, Bowling Green State University, USA

'Jeremiah I. Dibua's Development and Diffusionism eloquently adopts a historical perspective and case study approach, in exploring the influence of Eurocentric diffusionism on development policies in Nigeria. Using elaborate theoretical and empirical evidence, he effectively challenges the received wisdom that the Weberian-influenced neopatrimonial paradigm tries to foster through their attribution of the failures of development policies in Nigeria to only internal factors.' - Onaiwu W. Ogbomo, Professor of Africana Studies & History, Western Michigan University, USA