Nigeria's Foreign Policy Implementation in a Globalised World, 1993-2013

Raji, A.F (2015-08)

A Thesis Submitted to the School of Postgraduate Studies, University of Lagos

Thesis

Nigerian leaders since independence in 1960 have proclaimed adherence to the universal convention of predicating the foreign policy of the country on the domestic policies which should emphasize citizens’ welfare and good governance. With the inception of globalization that has integrated the various countries of the world reducing their distinctiveness over the last three decades, Nigeria’s foreign policy has transformed but this has not been sufficiently addressed by scholarly works. This study therefore examines Nigeria’s foreign policy in the new context stretching through both the military and civilian administrations by investigating the place of national interest in addition to identifying and discussing the new challenges as well as the role of non-state actors in the formulation and implementation of Nigeria’s foreign policy. The study adopts three theories. The first is the Plural Society Theory which claim relevance to the Third World experience in the sense that its analytical focus is on the highly differentiated nature of the Third World. Second, the Marxist Theory of the State explains why the state in a capitalist society ultimately represents the interest of the capitalist class. Third, Globalisation Theory, explores the growing extensity, intensity and velocity of global interactions associated with a deepening enmeshment of the local and global engagements such that the impact of distant events is magnified while even the most local developments may have enormous global consequences. In addition to extensive literature review, the study uses the indepth interview method which involves extracting authoritative information from key stakeholders – foreign policy scholars, experts and diplomats. The study also uses semi-structured interview guide and impromptu questions derived from some of the respondents’ assertions. The study finds out that the Cold War was a defining character of the international system at the time of Nigeria’s independence in 1960, her non-alignment posture notwithstanding. It further reveals that inconsistent definition of Nigeria’s national interest, misplaced priorities, insincerity of the foreign policy makers, lack of consultation among the diverse stakeholders in the country, poor coordination of policy formulation and implementation processes and Nigeria’s political leaders’ lack of dynamism to effectively and adequately respond to and appropriately benefit from the changes occasioned by the phenomenon of globalisation which eventually robbed the country of the expected respect from other African countries. It concludes that Nigeria, no doubt, possesses the necessary potentials as well as institutional structures needed to formulate a vibrant foreign policy. It recommends that in addition to commitment responding to demands, pressures and influences from the external environment, the makers and executors of Nigeria’s foreign policy need to equally respond appropriately to domestic pressures and demands.

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