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Ethnicity and Politics of Exclusion in Nigeria: Employing Rawls'Theory of Justice in Plural Societies
Linköping University, Department of Culture and Communication, Centre for Applied Ethics.
2005 (Swedish)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year))Student thesis
Abstract [en]

With an estimated 250 ethnic groups, Nigeria, no doubt, has been grappling with the problem of pluralism of ethnic nationalities. It is not news in Nigeria that extreme ethnic consciousness of its citizens has led to the victimization of one ethnic group by another. This victimization has come in the form of exclusions in the distribution of both wealth and power in the country.

Amidst all the exclusions, the unity of the country has been ironically regarded as sacrosanct, and should not be negotiated. It is often said that fate brought all the ethnic nationalities in order to form one great country. I subscribe to this belief that fate brought us together for the above purpose, especially now that several countries around the world are merging in one way or the other to form a formidable force to reckon with both politically and economically. Hence, “(ethnic integration) is the integration of capabilities. It develops the capabilities of the workforce… it offers opportunities for better synergy of skills”. However, it would be ethically unhealthy for the unity of the country not to be compromised under the present dispensation, which has been compromising in turn the basic moral principle of social justice. There cannot be any moral basis for the continued existence of a country like Nigeria, which as it were, has thrown equality of all citizens to the dogs.

Should the country remain united, it must do so by imbibing the culture of regarding all citizens, as well as, all ethnic nationalities as equal, and none should have more privileges than the others. Therefore, how can a plural society like Nigeria remain united as one indivisible country?

Rawls has offered some solutions to the problem of stability engendered by the pluralism of ethnic groups in Nigeria. His idea of ‘overlapping consensus of reasonable comprehensive doctrines’ in his Political Liberalism is capable of bringing back the country to the state of stability. There will be stability, if all forms of exclusion seize to exist in the Nigerian polity.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2005. , 54 p.
Keyword [en]
Ethics, Ethnicity, Ethnic nationalities, Politics of Exclusion, Political Liberalism, Equality, Overlapping Concensus, Comprehensive Doctrines, Affirmative Action, Difference Principle
Keyword [sv]
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-2913ISRN: LIU-CTE-AE-EX--05/10--SEOAI: diva2:20256
Available from: 2005-06-14 Created: 2005-06-14

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