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Whose Catalyst? Party Politics and Democracy in the Fourth Republic: From Theory to Denial

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Abstract

Dateline: A city in southwestern Nigeria. A chief executive of a leading private sector organization is in the midst of friends, expressing his apprehension over the outcome of recent local elections, as well as governorship election re-runs in 2008 following judicial decisions annulling those held in 2007. He is worried that the new elections are even worse than the cancelled 2007 and pre-2007 elections (see also The Nation, 2008, 13). In his words, “we now have predetermined results without elections actually taking place.” His friends laugh over this statement, but they are equally worried by its import.

Keywords

  • Civil Society
  • Political Elite
  • Party System
  • Electoral Competition
  • Political Parti

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Owen: … [W]e are taking place names that are riddled with confusion and…

Yolland: Who’s confused? Are the people confused?

Owen: And we are standardising those names as accurately and as sensitively as we can.

Yolland: Something is being eroded.

— Conversation, in Scott, 1998, p. vi

[F]ormal schemes of order are untenable without some elements of the practical knowledge that they tend to dismiss.

— Scott, 1998, p. 7

In many countries, formalization has not produced predictable systemic conditions at any level… Consequences deviate from predictions, and hindsight offers a clarity that foresight does not.

— Guyer, Denzer, and Agbaje, 2002, p. xvii

These state simplifications, the basic givens of modern statecraft, were, I began to realize, rather like abridged maps. They did not successfully represent the actual activity of the society they depicted, nor were they intended to; they represented only that slice of it that interested the official observer. They were, moreover, not just maps. Rather, they were maps that, when allied with state power, would enable much of the reality they depicted to be remade.

— Scott, 1998, p. 3

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© 2010 Said Adejumobi

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Agbaje, A. (2010). Whose Catalyst? Party Politics and Democracy in the Fourth Republic: From Theory to Denial. In: Adejumobi, S. (eds) Governance and Politics in Post-Military Nigeria. Palgrave Macmillan, New York. https://doi.org/10.1057/9780230115453_3

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1057/9780230115453_3

  • Publisher Name: Palgrave Macmillan, New York

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