Nigeria has made progress since its return to democracy in 1999. But a political system crippled by corruption and dogged by ethnic tensions threatens to derail the country from its path toward good governance.
Nigerians have begun voting in two sets of elections closely watched for signs of the fitness of their democracy. Early indications are discouraging.
“For policymakers everywhere, Nigeria should be the central African question. No country’s fate is so decisive for the continent. No other country across a range of issues has the power so thoroughly to shape outcomes elsewhere in sub-Saharan Africa. If Nigeria works well, so might Africa. If the democratic experiment in Nigeria stalls, and development and governance stagnate, the rest of Africa suffers and loses hope,” concludes a new Council Special Report.
This report describes what steps might be taken by Nigerians and the international community to avoid a breakdown of democracy, and possibly stability, in the wake of Nigeria’s April 2007 electoral contest and to tackle Nigeria’s fundamental challenges of governance, security, and development in the longer term.
Oil piped through the swamps and creeks of the Niger Delta powers Nigeria’s economy, but ecological devastation and pervasive poverty are stirring political unrest.
Backgrounder: MEND has gained global notoriety by disrupting oil supplies in the Niger Delta.
Nigeria has the potential to make great strides in its own development, but it must first overcome some difficult obstacles, including rampant violence in the oil-rich Niger Delta.
In a continent where despotism often wins the day, the Nigerian Senate's vote to reject a constitutional amendment that would have allowed President Olusegun Obasanjo to run for a third term of office is notable - even more so since Obasanjo has decided to abide by it.
Nigeria’s political temperature continues to rise as moves to alter the constitution to extend presidential term limits stir protests across the country. The country is already beset by sectarian violence and ongoing clashes with militants in the oil-rich Niger Delta region.
Backgrounder: Ongoing sectarian troubles and corruption threaten Nigeria's future security.
Hauwa Ibrahim, a human rights lawyer, discussed the constitutionality of Shariah in Nigeria and her experiences defending Nigerian women in Shariah courts in the country.
To investigate Nigeria and consider various strategies to meet iproblems the country is currently facing, the Council on Foreign Relations' Center for Preventive Action (CPA) established a working group on Nigeria.
Williams argues that the status quo for peace operations in untenable and that greater U.S. involvement is necessary to enhance the quality and success of peacekeeping missions.
The authors argue that the United States has responded inadequately to the rise of Chinese power and recommend placing less strategic emphasis on the goal of integrating China into the international system and more on balancing China's rise.
Campbell evaluates the implications of the Boko Haram insurgency and recommends that the United States support Nigerian efforts to address the drivers of Boko Haram, such as poverty and corruption, and to foster stronger ties with Nigerian civil society.
Ashley's War tells the poignant and gripping story of a groundbreaking team of female American warriors who served alongside Special Operations soldiers in Afghanistan. More
Smith's insightful book explores the policy issues testing the Japanese government as it tries to navigate its relationship with an advancing China. More
This revolutionary new look at volatility and crisis in oil markets explores the conditions in which oil supply fears arise, gain popularity, and eventually wane. More
Learn more about CFR’s mission and its work over the past year in the 2014 Annual Report. The Annual Report spotlights new initiatives, high-profile events, and authoritative scholarship from CFR experts, and includes a message from CFR President Richard N. Haass.
Read and download »