Class, state, and prebendal politics in Nigeria

Richard A. Joseph*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

3 Scopus citations


The expulsion of well over a million unregistered aliens from Nigeria in January 1983 abruptly conveyed to world opinion that the country was in the throes of a severe crisis. This action was soon followed by the decision of the Nigerian government to cut the posted price of its crude oil in the hope that the steady decline in export earnings could be halted. These drastic measures, however, should be seen as consequences of a deeper crisis in the political and economic order which can be temporarily palliated, but not resolved, by such sudden initiatives. I shall examine several aspects of this deeper crisis, such as the shift to a mono-mineral export economy, the socio-economic proclivities of the dominant class, the considerable expansion in the state’s economic role, and the distinct pattern of competition for access to public resources in all sectors of Nigerian society. The sense of dissatisfaction with the achievements of Nigeria’s Second Republic, and the mounting concern about its viability, will be shown to reflect the combined effects of these fundamental problems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAfrica
Subtitle of host publicationDilemmas of Development and Change
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9780429971082
ISBN (Print)9780813327549
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


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