American International Journal of Social Science

ISSN 2325-4149(Print), ISSN 2325-4165(Online) DIO: 10.30845/aijss

Civil Society and Democratization in Nigeria: A Historical Perspective
Chimaroke Mgba

This paper focused on examining the historical struggles of popular civil society organizations in the movement for democratization in Nigeria. This in many ways is a prelude to its contemporary phase, which coincides with the era of the third wave of democracy. The central argument of this paper which is in congruence with historical studies is that past struggles that are linked to democratization are historical phenomena rooted in colonial/postcolonial unpopular policies of the Nigerian state. In doing this, the paper also attempted albeit in brief a theoretical examination of the literature on civil society- focusing on the liberal and Marxian schools of thought and the relevance of civil society to democratization discourses. The paper contends that the Marxian perspective more generally reflects the approach and interpretation of civil society in Nigeria’s history of democratization. Overall, the study underlined not only the significance of history in shaping knowledge and enhancing understanding of contemporary struggles/movement of popular forces in Nigeria’s political development but also the consistency and resilience of civil society in constructing that history especially that of democratization.

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