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Understanding Modern Nigeria


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Table of Contents

Part I. Introduction: 1. Narrating Postcolonial Nigeria; 2. In Search of Modernity; Part II. Context and History: 3. Colonial Modernity; 4. Political Pluralism; 5. Religious Identities; 6. Federalism and Its Fault-Lines; Part III. Democracy and Governance: 7. Ethnicities and Political Identities; 8. Religion and Geopolitics; 9. Democracy and Its Limits; 10. Governance, Citizenship and the State: Part IV. Development Crises: 11. Corruption; 12. The Political Economy of Oil; 13. Environment and Sustainable Development; 14. Food, Society, and Human Capabilities; 15. Women's Marginalization; 16. Human and Minority Rights; 17. Political Violence; 18. Challenges of Western Education; Part V: Reforms and Revolutions: 19. Change Agents: Youths and Politics; 20. Hashtags and Social Protests: Reformation and Revolution in the Age of Social Media; 21. Reformist Option: Grassroots and Political Activism; 22. Revolutionary Option: Social Movements and Power to the Citizens; 23. Nationalist Ethos, Collective Reformation, and Citizenry Power; 24. Popular Culture and Politics; Part VI. Conclusion: Pathways to the Future.

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An introduction to the politics and society of post-colonial Nigeria, highlighting the key themes of ethnicity, democracy, and development.

About the Author

Toyin Falola is Professor of History, University Distinguished Teaching Professor, and the Jacob and Frances Sanger Mossiker Chair in the Humanities, at the University of Texas at Austin. He had served as the General Secretary of the Historical Society of Nigeria, the President of the African Studies Association, Vice-President of UNESCO Slave Route Project, and the Kluge Chair of the Countries of the South, Library of Congress. He is a member of the Scholars' Council, Kluge Center, the Library of Congress. He has received over thirty lifetime career awards and thirteen honorary doctorates. He has written extensively on Nigeria, including A History of Nigeria (2008), Nigerian Political Modernity (2016), Violence in Nigeria (1998), Colonialism and Violence in Nigeria (2009) and co-author of The Yoruba from Prehistory to the Present (2019). He is also the series co-editor for Cambridge University Press's series African Identities.


'Another great book from one of Nigeria's finest scholars. Falola has brought together under one cover answers to all the questions anyone may want to ask about Nigeria but have never been able to frame up in a question. This book will put us in Falola's debt for quite a long time.' Abiodun Alao, Professor of African Studies, King's College London
'This book provides one of the most comprehensive and insightful analysis of the complexities of democracy, development, and state-building in Nigeria. Going beyond narratives of post-colonial dysfunction, this book highlights the contradictions, ambiguities, and positive potentials of Africa's most populous country. The depth of analysis and policy prescriptions make the book essential reading for anyone who seeks to understand modern Nigeria.' Bonny Ibhawoh, Senator William McMaster Chair in Global Human Rights, McMaster University
'In this magisterial volume, Africa's foremost historian and theoretician weaves a mesmerizing meta-narrative and meta-theory of Africa's largest democracy and economy, Nigeria. Comprehensively capturing yet transcending the dominant scholarship, Falola's triadic framework explains Nigeria's dialectic progress and retrogression. This is the definitive text for a new generation of scholars.' Olajumoke Yacob-Haliso, Dean, Veronica Adeleke School of Social Sciences, Babcock University, Nigeria

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