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The origins of Nigerian federalism: the Rikerian Theory and beyond


Babalola, Dele


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Abstract Scholars of federalism have offered different reasons why federations are formed. One of the most notable works in this area is that of William H. Riker, who made no pretence about his attempt to build a general theory of federalism, particularly its origin, operation and significance. Central to the Rikerian theory is that federations are formed through a political bargain between two sets of rational politicians, and the motive for the federal bargain is principally military. This theory is predicated on the assumption that two conditions – the expansion condition, and the military condition – must be present for a federation to be formed. In reference to the Nigerian Federation established in 1954, Riker asserted that the expansionist ambition of Ghana and its then leader Kwame Nkrumah, was the main external threat that informed the formation of the Federation. The main aim in this paper is to argue that the Rikerian theory of federal formation is inadequate to explain the origin of the Nigerian Federation, especially in the light of the centripetal and centrifugal forces that combined to result in the Federation.
Thesaurusschlagwörter Nigeria; federalism; political history; political theory; political system; West Africa
Klassifikation Allgemeines, spezielle Theorien und Schulen, Methoden, Entwicklung und Geschichte der Politikwissenschaft; Staat, staatliche Organisationsformen
Freie Schlagwörter Rikerian Theory
Sprache Dokument Englisch
Publikationsjahr 2013
Seitenangabe S. 43-54
Zeitschriftentitel Federal Governance, 10 (2013) 1
ISSN 1923-6158
Status Veröffentlichungsversion; begutachtet (peer reviewed)
Lizenz Digital Peer Publishing Licence - Basismodul