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Political decentralisation and conflict: The Sharia crisis in Kaduna, Nigeria
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
2011 (English)In: Journal for Contemporary African Studies, ISSN 0258-9001, E-ISSN 1469-9397, Vol. 29, no 1, 15-31 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

When states in northern Nigeria started processes for implementing Sharia laws in 1999, it triggered sentiments all over the country. In Kaduna State, the proposal led to demonstrations and violent clashes. The article examines the ways in which different scales of politics are mutually constituted in the Sharia case and how the Sharia proposal subsequently resulted in clashes in Kaduna. It is argued that the Sharia initiative, even though it started as a sub-national question, was connected to a national power contestation. However, the federal government remained passive and diverted the issue to local political space. In Kaduna, the issue took dimensions that incurred with apprehensive local political contention that made it escalate into violence and polarising people according to religion. An analysis of the crisis in Kaduna is offered that does not regard the conflict as locally confined, but as inherently related to wider political and historical processes.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 29, no 1, 15-31 p.
Keyword [en]
conflict, decentralisation, ethnicity, Nigeria, religion, Sharia
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)
Research subject
Political Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-55226DOI: 10.1080/02589001.2011.533057OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-55226DiVA: diva2:402196
Available from: 2011-03-07 Created: 2011-03-07 Last updated: 2017-12-11Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Placing Conflict: Religion and politics in Kaduna State, Nigeria
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Placing Conflict: Religion and politics in Kaduna State, Nigeria
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Decentralisation and federalism are often said to mitigate conflict by better meeting the preferences of a heterogeneous population and demands for limited autonomy. But it is argued in this thesis that this perspective does not sufficiently address the ways in which conflict-ridden relations entangle processes across different scales ‒ local, regional as well as national. The aim of this thesis is to explain how it is that while decentralisation may contribute to national stability, it may simultaneously generate local conflict. This problem is analysed through a conflict in Kaduna State in north-central Nigeria where there have been outbreaks of violence between Hausa-Fulani Muslims and Christians of different ethnicities since the 1980s. Christian ethnic groups claim to be excluded from state benefits, while Muslim groups claim that Christians have undue influence over the state bureaucracy. The conflict feeds off ethnic and religious mobilisation. Expanded local political space further fuelled the conflict following the decentralisation that came with the shift from military to civilian rule in 1999. Decentralisation in Nigeria implies that the authorities should be associated with the majority ethnicity or religion in a specific territory. A localisation of politics accordingly raises the stakes in identity-based conflicts, especially as control of local institutions is necessary for inclusion in wider political processes. In Kaduna, this has led to demands for separating the state on a religious and ethnic basis. Actors make use of “scalar politics” to conform to or challenge boundaries set by the state. Social relations are associated with different boundaries.  Accordingly, decentralisation triggers conflicts on an identity basis, involving contestation over the hierarchy of scales. While national struggles between ethnic and religious groups may be subdued, conflicts play out locally as decentralisation in Nigeria makes religion and ethnicity a powerful tool for political mobilisation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Political Science, Stockholm University, 2015. 83 p.
Series
Stockholm studies in politics, ISSN 0346-6620 ; 164
Keyword
conflict, decentralisation, ethnic conflict, ethnicity, federalism, identity, Nigeria, religion, religious conflict, scale, territory
National Category
Political Science
Research subject
Political Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-120386 (URN)978-91-7649-233-8 (ISBN)
Public defence
2015-10-20, De Geersalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 14, Stockholm, 13:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following paper was unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 2: Manuscript.

Available from: 2015-09-28 Created: 2015-09-08 Last updated: 2015-09-16Bibliographically approved

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