Nigeria and the Nation-State: Rethinking Diplomacy with the Postcolonial World

John Campbell. Rowman & Littlefield, $29 (312p) ISBN 978-1-5381-1375-2
Campbell (Nigeria: Dancing on the Brink), a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and former ambassador to Nigeria, documents the prospects and pitfalls facing Africa’s most populous country in this well-informed and highly specialized account. Chronicling the precolonial, colonial, and postindependence periods, Campbell cogently argues that Nigeria, divided by multiple languages, ethnicities, and religions, lacks a strong national identity. Because the government is viewed by most Nigerians as an agency of exploitation on behalf of the elite, loyalty to it is low, Campbell writes, and the two major political parties are largely “indistinguishable.” Campbell calls on the U.S. government to acknowledge this reality by refocusing its efforts from diplomatic interchanges with Nigeria’s president and foreign ministry to public diplomacy and more engagement with “state, local, and traditional centers of powers,” including religious leaders and the Lagos state government. In addition to the problems of environmental degradation, demographic explosion, and rapid urbanization, Campbell highlights major security challenges facing Nigeria, including the terrorist group Boko Haram, and analyzes these persistent crises against the recent backdrop of collapsing oil prices and the coronavirus pandemic. Packed with insider details of foreign policy-making and deep dives into Nigeria’s demographics and political history, this expert treatise will resonate with readers well-versed in the subject. (Nov.)
Reviewed on : 09/16/2020
Release date: 11/01/2020
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 312 pages - 978-1-5381-1376-9
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