Identity Transformation and Identity Politics under Structural Adjustment in Nigeria

Identity Transformation and Identity Politics under Structural Adjustment in Nigeria

Identity Transformation and Identity Politics under Structural Adjustment in Nigeria

Identity Transformation and Identity Politics under Structural Adjustment in Nigeria

Synopsis

The contributions in this volume represent the first comprehensive effort to understand the dissolution and recomposition of popular political identities in contemporary Nigeria. Ethnicity and religion, and the ways in which they combine with each other and with other variables like regional identities, are discussed, alongside the increase in the political significance of various aspects of youth and gender identities.

Excerpt

One of the innovations which the Nordic Africa Institute has attempted to promote as part of its networking mandate with African researchers and their institutions is the extension of funding support to groups of scholars based in Africa to undertake collaborative work on a mutually agreed subject. This study on identity politics in Nigeria falls within this category of co-operation between the Institute and African scholars and it was promoted within the framework of the Institute's research programme on The Political and Social Context of Structural Adjustment in Sub-Saharan Africa. It is particularly gratifying that the collaborative effort has not only stimulated close interaction among the African researchers concerned but also demonstrated the full workability of that mode of co-operation with the African academic community. For this and other reasons, I would like to extend both my personal gratitude and that of the Institute to Dr. Attahiru Jega who was the co-ordinator of the Nigerian research group, and the Centre for Research and Documentation in Kano which was the institutional host in Nigeria for the project, for all the effort which they put into ensuring the production of this manuscript.

The book itself represents the first systematic effort to undertake a detailed, case study-based analysis of the dynamics of identity politics in contemporary Nigeria. The study was initiated and undertaken at a time of great political turmoil and continuing economic decline which was conditioned by an adjustment programme of sorts and the most brutal experience of military dictatorship in Nigeria's history. This broad context was to have a direct role in shaping and re-shaping identity politics in Nigeria during the 1980s and 1990s but many students of Nigeria's contemporary political economy were to feel a great sense of frustration at the absence of a properly-researched and historically-grounded analysis of the shifts which were taking place in the contours of identity politics. This study, therefore, represents a major contribution to an understanding of contemporary Nigerian politics, economy and society and is highly recommended to readers for this reason in the hope that it will be found to be insightful and stimulating.

Adebayo Olukoshi Co-ordinator, NAI Research Programme on The Political and Social Context of Structural Adjustment in Sub-Saharan Africa.

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