Friday, January 23, 2015

Nigeria and Coups

Here's a really good perspective on Nigerian political context by a good friend regarding recent events there in relation to historical trends. The topic of coups is an interesting one, especially throughout the African continent. There seemed to be a flurry of coups in the early 1990s, but they may have fallen out of vogue until recently. Consider what is going on in Yemen and consider Pakistan's checkered transfer of power in the past few decades as case examples. 

Read Shawn Russell's piece to gain a better appreciation of Nigeria's present day context related to power. Context will continue to be the theme this year on Diplomatic Discourse as I introduce recommended readings to understand international affairs in their proper context.

Of note, I slightly disagree with Shawn's assessment and comparison of Nigeria to Mali. He is much more the expert on these matters, but I will point out that Nigeria and Mali are not similar case comparisons. Nigeria's resource curse, as Paul Collier would suggest, make her more prone to rent-seeking corruption, which, in my estimation would be the primary driver of political conflict motivating a coup. I don't think that is the case in Mali. I have to wonder if Mali's case has more to do with control of ethnic historiographies.  Nevertheless, Shawn's essay is an important piece.
Beware a Nigerian Coup d’Etat