Domestic Politics and Foreign Policy Dynamics in Nigeria : Current School News

Domestic Politics and Foreign Policy Dynamics in Nigeria: Obasanjo’s Administration, 1999 – 2003



Domestic Politics and Foreign Policy Dynamics in Nigeria: Obasanjo’s Administration, 1999 – 2003.


Nation-States are embedded in a complex international system, and there is always an interaction between one state and another for the accomplishment of certain objectives which are most of the time necessitated by the domestic demands of an individual state.
This  implies that the relationship between one state and another in the international system, is often influenced by internal and external factors.
The extent of the relationship between domestic politics and foreign policy in Nigeria by 1999 form, therefore, the nexus of this study.

Thus,  it sets out to investigate the demands of the Nigerian government in 1999 based on the prevailing realities that confronted the Obasanjo’s administration on its emergence.
Among the issues were the quest for political stability vis-a-viz the protection of the nascent civilian rule from military Coup d’etat and industrialization of the country with a view to arresting the depressed economy.
On this premise, the study was guided by the broad question: Is there  any direct linkage between domestic politics of protecting the new civilian government and industrialization of the state, and the foreign policy strands of military alliance and economic liberalisation in Nigeria from 1999 to 2003?
The exploration of this question led to the generation of three specific question (1) Is there any significant positive relationship between Nigeria’s military professionalisation policy for political stability and the foreign policy dimension of military alliance from 1999 to 2003?
(2) Does Nigeria’s quest for industrialisation have any direct link with the foreign policy posture of trade liberalisation from 1999 to 2003?
(3) Did the liberalisation of foreign direct investment impact positively  on reduction of unemployment in Nigeria within the period (1999 to 2003)?  The execution  of this study engaged the separate sample pretest-posttest research design of the notation system.


Background of Study

Nigerian foreign policy is anchored, to a very large extent, on myriad of domestic factors and forces. These factors and forces range from the pursuit of security and welfare broadly conceived to autonomy and status and prestige. The essence is for the stability of the state and happiness of the citizenry.

The combination of these factors and forces not only put certain limits upon the actions and choices of Nigerian foreign policy formulators, but also set the scope within which the domestic political contest over foreign policy matters must be determined.

Thus, it has been argued that the accomplishment of these purposes require interplay of the domestic politics and foreign policy.

Marxist scholars were among the earliest thinkers to analyse systematically the interconnection between internal politics and foreign policy.

They in fact, characterise foreign policy as a continuation of domestic politics. This is because, in virtually all countries, the dynamism of popular participation in foreign affairs, according to these scholars, produces in the mind of stakeholders a continuous balancing of foreign and domestic concerns.

This, of course, is an admission of the fact that domestic policy is also affected, in some aspects, by external factors and forces. This is particularly so in former European colonies.

This juxtaposition accounts, perhaps, for Ofoegbu’s stand when he posits that “the category designated domestic policy consists of many subcategories which cover economics, social welfare, national politics, education and transport” (Ofeogbu, 1978:1).

All these, he demonstrates, regulate, shape, direct and govern relations among citizens, groups of people and national institutions.


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Adekanye, B. (2000), “Civil-Military Relations and Consolidation of Democracy in Nigeria” Report presented to the International IDEA Project on Assessment of Opportunities and Constraints for Democratic Reform in Nigeria, March 22.
Aja, A. A. (1999), Policy and Strategic Studies: Uncharted Waters of War and Peace in International Relations. Abakaliki: Willy Rose and Appleseed Publishing Company.
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Animalu, A.O.E. (1988), ed; Conference Proceedings and Recommendations of the National Committee of the Deans of Science of Nigerian University.



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