Democracy and Violent Conflict: A Reflection on the Crisis in Nigeria



There is strong debate about the validity of the democratic peace theory (Przeworski, 1995). Does democracy bring domestic peace and stability to countries who embrace it? Are democracies less likely to suffer internal strife and instability? Given the proliferation of violence and conflict in Nigeria’s democracy, this is a critical question. This paper explores the link between democracy and violent conflict in Nigeria. I argue that violent conflict in Nigeria is a reflection of the failure of democracy, democratic values, ideals, norms and institutions rather than the spread of Islamic fundamentalism and ethnic confrontations. On the basis of my findings, the study recommends strong democratic institutions, justice, equitable distribution of resources and the fight against poverty and youth unemployment as tools for sustainable national peace.

Keywords: Democracy, violent conflict, Nigeria

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ISSN (Paper)2224-607X ISSN (Online)2225-0565

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