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Title: Class

Class 13-14 Nigeria
  • Colonialism and post-colonialism
  • The natural resource curse
  • Corruption
  • Military dictatorship
  • Ethnic and religious conflict
  • Consociationalism

Nigeria's Government
  • US style presidential system, under which the
    president controls most of the political
    resources (President-elect Alhaji Umar Musa Yar
    Adua, since April 21).
  • Bicameral legislature
  • 109 senators elected by SMP three from each
    state and one from the Federal Capital Territory.
  • 360 member House of Representatives, elected from
    single-member districts.

Nigeria's Government
  • Federal structure 36 states plus the Federal
    Capital Territory of Abuja.
  • Officially structured into state and local
    governments, but local power tends to concentrate
    into the hands of the governors and local big
  • Central government controls most of the oil
    revenues, which the economy depends on, making
    federal institutions relatively weak.

  • The extension of state sovereignty over
    territories beyond its border by the
    establishment of either settler colonies or
    administrative dependencies in which indigenous
    populations are either directly ruled or
  • Settler colonies lands which are populated
    directly by immigrants from the colonial power
    (ex. the U.S., Australia)
  • Administrative dependencies lands in which the
    indigenous population remains, but administrative
    sovereignty remains in the hands of the colonial
    power, who rules either directly or through local
    administrative units (Nigeria, India).

Additional types of colonialism
  • Plantation colonies where white colonizers
    imported black slaves, who eventually became a
    majority (Jamaica, Haiti).
  • Trading posts areas controlled by the
    colonizing power as an area for trade (Hong Kong,

Eras of Colonialism
  • Colonialism began in the 15th c. with the
    Portuguese conquest of Ceuta in north Africa.
  • Generally motivated by economic and religious
  • To find the source of the spice routes to open up
    trade by sea.
  • To find Christian communities surrounding the
    Ottoman Empire, and to spread Christianity.
  • In 1488, Portuguese sailors proved that it was
    possible to round Africa, when Bartolomeu Dias
    rounded the Cape of Good Hope.

Eras of Colonialism
  • The Spanish quickly followed, financing
    Christopher Columbus' voyage to the Bahamas in
  • Whereas the Portuguese focused primarily on
    developing sea power and trade routes, the
    Spanish colonialism involved the emigration of
    large populations to colonial holdings.

Portuguese Colonialism
Eras of Colonialism
  • Northern European countries England, France,
    Netherlands -- began their own colonization in
    the Americas.
  • Some of this was done for economic reasons
    involving private companies.
  • Since gold was not present in their holdings,
    these usually involved trade in sugar, furs and
    other renewable raw materials.
  • Others emigrated in order to establish new
    societies outside of Europe.

Eras of Colonialism
  • First period of decolonization, 18th-19th c.
  • 1776-1783 War of American Independence
  • 1791-1804 The Haitian Revolution
  • 1808-1821 wars for independence in Latin
  • 1898 Spanish-American War (ended Spanish
    control over Cuba, Puerto Rico and Philippines).
  • 1822 Brazil declares independence from Portugal.

Eras of Colonization
  • New Imperialism -- 1870-1914
  • The Scramble for Africa -- European powers
    competed for colonial territories without
    explicit need for resources.
  • Also brought European influence to Asia
  • Russia and Britain fought over influence in
    Central Asia.
  • Commodore Perry and the opening Japan.
  • China opened to Western influence in the first
    and second Opium Wars.

European Colonization of Africa
Eras of Colonialism
  • Decolonization (1945-1997)
  • While movements for decolonization began much
    earlier, it was after World War II that they
    really gained momentum.
  • Some gained independence through wars (ex.
    Algeria), others through formal agreements (that
    were often nonetheless bloody affairs).
  • Supported by the US and the Non-Aligned Movement.

Decolonization in Africa
British Colonialism in Nigeria
  • The legacy of British colonialism is mixed
  • Unlike many other colonial empires, Britain used
    a system of indirect rule, allowing traditional
    structures and native bureaucracy to persist.
  • Where authority was diffuse, Britain strengthened
    traditional chiefs and kings, or appointed
    warrant chiefs to maintain their authority.
  • In addition, before leaving, Britain usually
    established a democratic system of elections
    within the Commonwealth, giving its former
    colonies some taste of democracy before full

British Colonialism in Nigeria
  • At the same time
  • Britain promoted ethnic and social divisions to
    prevent organized political resistance to
    colonial rule.
  • Borders set by British leaders did not correspond
    to ethnic or tribal lines (Housa-Fulani, Igbo,
    and Yoruba).

British Colonialism in Nigeria
  • Outcomes
  • Aware of democratic practices and ideals
  • Some level of bureaucratic professionalization
    and capacity.
  • Deeply divided societies.
  • Norms of using power to reward tribal and ethnic

British Empire in 1921
Military Dictatorship
  • A form of government where authority resides in
    the military.
  • Can take several forms
  • Official vs. unofficial
  • Junta vs. dictatorship
  • Coup d'etat vs. evolutionary
  • Direct vs. indirect
  • Usually involve some type of martial law or state
    of emergency, declared on the basis of a real or
    perceived threat.

Military Dictatorship
  • Goals of military regimes
  • Establish stability.
  • Preempt certain political changes, movements,
    election results.
  • Strengthen the military establishment.
  • Closely unite control and means of force.
  • To rule.

Military Dictatorship
  • In general, military regimes tend to be
    short-lived (Barbara Geddes)
  • Divisions within the military about goals and
  • Relatively low costs of removal from leadership.
  • Conflict between professional military and
    branches established for domestic enforcement of
    rule (Alfred Stepan).
  • Military not generally structured in a manner
    that allows it to easily perform civilian
  • Loss of support from civilian sponsors.

Military Dictatorship in Nigeria
  • January 1966 Civilian government deposed in a
    coup by General Aguiyi Ironsi, and Igbo.
  • July 1966 Countercoup by General Yakubu Gowon,
    and Anga with northern support.
  • July 1975 Military coup led by General Murtala
    Muhammed, a northerner, deposes Gowon.
  • February 1976 Muhammed assasinated, General
    Olesugun Obasanjo, a Yoruba, assumes power
    (return to civilian rule in 1978).
  • December 1983 military coup by General
    Muhammadu Buhari, a northerner.
  • August 1985 Buhari overthrown by General
    Ibrahim B. Babangida, a Middle Belt Muslim
    (Presidential elections annulled in 1993).

Military Dictatorship in Nigeria
  • August 1993 Babangida installs Ernest Shonekan
    as interim civilian president.
  • November 1993 Defense Minister General Sani
    Abacha seizes power in a coup. Two year later he
    announces a three year transition to democracy
    and has himself nominated for president in 1998.
  • June 1998 Abacha dies, succeeded by General
    Abdulsalami Abubakar, a Middle Belt Muslim, who
    quickly installs a new transition program.

Legacies of Military Dictatorship in Nigeria
  • Strong centralized control over finances.
  • Prebendalism patterns of political behavior
    that rest on the justification that official
    state offices should be utilized for personal
    benefit of officeholders as well as their support
    groups or clients.
  • Strong presidential position.
  • Heavy hierarchical control by big men over
    large patron-client networks.

Challenges to Democracy
  • Cannot win elections without support of big men
  • Distribution decisions heavily contention and cut
    along strong pre-existing divisions.
  • Weak federal states.
  • Weak economy outside of state-controlled finances
    (including para-statals, state-owned industries,
    and rents).

Consociationalism vs. Majoritarianism
  • Arend Lijphart
  • Looking primarily at the Netherlands, he contends
    that conflict between Calvinists and Catholics
    was prevented by a set of formal and informal
    institutional structures that encouraged
  • Often used to describe governments in
    Netherlands, Switzerland, South Africa, Nigeria,
    Belgium, and Lebanon.
  • Lijphart and Gunther contend that most states
    have at least some consociational attributes.

The Westminster Model
  • Book definition -- A form of democracy based on
    the supreme authority of Parliament and the
    accountability of its elected representatives
    named after the site of the Parliament building
    in Westminster, a borough of London.
  • Parliamentary democracy -- System of government
    in which the chief executive is answerable to the
    legislature and may be dismissed by it.

The Westminster Model
  • Parliamentary sovereignty -- A constitutional
    principle of government (principally in Britain)
    by which the legislature reserves the power to
    make or overturn any law without recourse by the
    executive, the judiciary, or the monarchy. Only
    Parliament can nullify or overturn legislation
    approved by Parliament and Parliament can force
    the cabinet or the government to resign by voting
    a motion of no confidence.

Checks and Balances vs. Majority Rule
The Westminster Model (Theoretical Concept)
  • Maximization of majority rule (Lijphart).
  • Attributes
  • Parliamentary sovereignty.
  • Executive elected from parliament and backed by a
    majority in the legislature.
  • Limited constitutional constraints, or no formal
  • Unitary state
  • Two-party system.
  • Single-member plurality electoral system.

Consociational Democracy
  • In contrast to the Westminster system,
    consociational democracies promote checks on the
    power of majority groups.
  • In addition, consociationalism usually recognizes
    important social groups and explicitly gives them
    guaranteed power in the government.

General Characteristics of Consociationalism
  • Grand coalitions including elites from all the
    important groups, who come together to rule for
    the country.
  • Mutual veto the ability to block legislation
    that does not have consensus support among the
    major groups.
  • Proportionality groups receive representation
    according to their general proportion in the
    population (with important exceptions).
  • Segmental autonomy allowing culture-based
    community laws (ex. education).

Favorable Conditions for Consociationalism
  • Multi-axis balance of power 3 or more groups,
    none of whom constitute a majority.
  • Multi-party system more than 2 parties, with
    none holding a majority, forcing coalitions to
  • Small country size countries that are smaller
    are more likely to have elites that regularly
    interact, making compromise easier.
  • Overarching loyalty all the groups feel some
    sense of loyalty to the country.
  • Tradition of elite accomodation groups are used
    to dealing with and working out a compromise with
    each other.
  • Strong hierarchical leadership leaders are able
    to bring their supporters into agreement with
    elite bargains.

Consociational Institutions
  • Attributes
  • Collective executive
  • Coalition legislature
  • Strong formal constitution
  • Federalism
  • Multi-party system
  • Proportional representation
  • Strong judicial review
  • Norms or requirements of consensus on important

Majoritarian vs. Consociational Institutions
  • Parliamentary sovereignty
  • Executive backed my majority in legislature
  • Limited or no formal constitutional constraints
  • Unitary state
  • Two-party system
  • Single-member Plurality electoral system
  • Collective executive
  • Coalition legislature
  • Strong formal constitution with judicial review
  • Federalism
  • Multi-party system
  • Proportional representation
  • Norms or requirements of consensus on important

Arguments for Consociationalism
  • Elite bargains can overcome popular division.
  • By guaranteeing all relevant groups influence,
    they are less likely to resort to violence and/or
    authoritarian government.
  • Leaving important groups out of government make
    them more likely to become violent.
  • By forcing groups to work together, they are more
    likely to resolve their differences.
  • Better than any alternative for dealing with
    democratic governance in fragmented societies.

Criticisms of Consociationalism
  • Guaranteeing groups representation in government
    and in federal states gives them a springboard to
  • Consociationalism only works in a very
    restrictive set of circumstances, and these can
    change over time.
  • It is difficult to discern how consociational
    governance in a country is and how much it needs
    to be for stability.
  • Consociational institutions promote gridlock.
  • True key to consociationalism is the elites not
    the institutions.

Where have I seen this before?...
  • Can anyone describe for me how the design of
    Iraq's government has been influenced by
  • What about the government of Nigeria?

The Natural Resource Curse
  • It's the devil's excrement. We are drowning in
    the devil's excrement. -- Juan Pablo Perez
    Alfonso, founder of OPEC.
  • We are in part to blame, but this is the curse
    of being born with a copper spoon in our mouths.
    -- Kenneth Kaunda, President of Zambia.
  • All in all, I wish we had discovered water. --
    Sheik Ahmad Yamani, Oil Minister for Saudi Arabia.

Economic Aspects of the Natural Resource Curse
  • On average, countries that are more dependent on
    fuel and mineral exports have lower rates of
    growth (Richard Auty, Jeffrey Sachs and Andrew
  • From 1965-1998, economic growth in OPEC countries
    averaged -1.3, compared to 2.2 in the rest of
    the developing world.

What Happened?
  • Dutch Disease
  • Revenue Volatility
  • Excessive Borrowing
  • Corruption
  • Conflict
  • Authoritarian Government
  • Enclave Effect
  • Corruption
  • 'Oil Mania'

Are natural resources and economic curse?
  • Some contend that saying countries are worse off
    for having natural resources is akin to saying a
    person is more likely to become rich if they
    don't win the lottery.
  • Others contend that it is about policy design,
    not inherent characteristics of the natural
    resources themselves.
  • To this end, a number of different strategies
    have been used, such as special offshore oil
    accounts, for handing new oil discoveries.

Political aspects of the curse
  • Countries that are more reliant on natural
    resources tend to be less democratic than we
    would expect, given their level of economic
    development (Michael Ross).
  • This is used to explain why some relatively rich
    countries, such as the oil monarchies in the
    Middle East, have remained traditional
    authoritarian despite their economic growth.

Why is this the case?
  • Political Dutch Disease (Lam and Wantchekon)
  • State Ownership (Pauline Jones Luong)
  • State Buyoffs (Michael Ross)
  • Corruption
  • Elimination of Need for Taxation (Michael Ross)
  • Reduced Bureaucratic Accountability
  • Increased Spending on Repression
  • Increased Political and Social Conflict (Collier
    and Hoeffler)
  • Absence of International Pressure
  • Lack of Development Outside of Natural Resources
    (Michael Ross)
  • Heavy Inequality (Carles Boix)
  • Immobility of Assets (Carles Boix)

Methods of Dealing with The Curse
  • International Oil Savings Accounts
  • Shared Sovereignty over Oil Money (World Bank)
  • Pressuring Oil Companies to Demand Greater
    Political Rights
  • Attempting Greater Transparency through Reporting
    of Fuel Income (either through the state or the
    oil companies)
  • Refusing international support or loans for oil
    development projects.

Basic Questions yet to be answered
  • What underlies the curse in an inter-regional
    setting? (ex. stability or instability?)
  • Is this really an exception to modernization
    theory, or just a flaw in how we measure
  • Can the problems of distribution be solved in a
    political system of sovereign states?
  • What factors explain different outcomes among
    high oil exporters?