External Actors and Democratization Process in Nigeria's Fourth Republic: The Case of the United States of America
Olayide O. Oladeji
Affiliation: Ekiti State University, Ado Ekiti, Nigeria
Keywords: Democratization, External Actors, Foreign Policy, Fourth Republic, Nigeria, United States
Categories: News and Views
This paper examines the role of external actors in the democratization process in Nigeria’s Fourth Republic with a focus on the United States of America. Democracy promotion abroad is a relatively recent phenomenon in international relations. It became a focus of study and/or foreign policy consideration in international relations after the end of the Cold War, which made the US a unipolar global power. Thus, democracy promotion abroad since this time became a major element in the US foreign policy. This coincided with the demand for democratic change in Nigeria, which got to a head with the annulment of the June 12, 1999 presidential election by the military government of General Babangida. Thus, the motivation for this paper is the desire to understand the role of external actors, especially the US, in the democratization process in Nigeria’s Fourth Republic. This aspect of the Nigerian-US diplomatic relations, especially in the Fourth Republic, has largely been ignored in the literature. To fill this identified gap in the literature, this paper seeks an answer to the question: can external governments and international institutions promote democratization or regime change in other countries? Specifically, this paper seeks to understand how and why the US has influenced the democratization process in Nigeria since 1999. The paper utilizes the historical method and relies on secondary data gathered from a variety of sources, especially official policy documents, text books, journal articles, unpublished theses, and the internet.