The constant drumbeat of headlines about Darfur, Zimbabwe, Sudan, Somalia, as well as the other states in Africa that are beleaguered by political instability have made the causes of failed states and intra-state political conflicts a major issue, both academic and practical. Using Harry Eckstein and Ted R. Gurr's congruence-consonance theoretical framework of regime classification, E.C. Ejiogu examines the internal variations of society evident in the Nigerian state to explain why the country experiences political conflict and instability. The first time this theoretical framework has been applied to an African country; E.C. Ejiogu offers a balanced and interdisciplinary analysis of the evolution in the Nigerian political system and the role played by evolved social traits in society. Exploring themes such as colonial rule and legacies, economic development, political authority and religion, Ejiogu insists that it is critical to examine Africa's diverse nationalities in terms of their geography, social, economic and authority patterns as critical elements that are disregarded in accounts of their political development. At a time when the question of state building in Africa is still unresolved, this timely book is a major contribution to the literature on transition processes in African politics and is particularly relevant to scholars and policy makers wanting to grapple with the issues associated with Africa's political disorder and the other social problems it spawns.
'This is a masterful new sociological and historical analysis of the roots of Nigeria's half-century of political conflict. A destabilizing lack of congruence among the authority patterns and practices of Nigeria's constituent ethnic groups extends from pre-colonial times to the present. This theoretically grounded interpretation is widely applicable elsewhere in post-colonial Africa.' Ted Robert Gurr, University of Maryland, USA 'The book is timely and insightful. It is timely given the political difficulties in Nigeria. Like South Africa, the solution of Nigeria's problems is key to the solution of Africa's problems.' Kwandiwe Kondlo, University of the Free State, South Africa '... political instability and democratic transition in modern Nigeria has been documented in several books and journal articles, but none of these has captured the nuances of Nigerian politics and society than the recently-published book by Professor E.C. Ejiogu... This brilliantly-written book is certainly a welcome addition to the growing body of work on the failed state in Nigeria... the author's arguments are laid out brilliantly in the introductory chapter of the book... Ejiogu deserves commendation for his bold, clear, and straight forward 'in your face' analysis throughout the 11 chapters of this book...' Journal of Asian and African Studies