Online Workshop 14: "Convergence versus differentiation: Party ideology in Nigeria's Fourth Republic" by Dr Sa'eed Husaini
FRA-NIGERIA ONLINE WORKSHOPS PROGRAMME
As you may know, in accordance with the latest government statement regarding measures to contain the COVID-19 virus, IFRA-Nigeria's offices are closed until further notice, library included. However, IFRA’s team has come up with alternative solutions to continue its training activities.
We are hosting a series of online events using Facebook Live as a platform.
14TH ONLINE WORKSHOP: "CONVERGENCE VERSUS DIFFERENTIATION: PARTY IDEOLOGY IN NIGERIA FOURTH REPUBLIC"
This fourteenth online workshop on "Convergence versus differentiation: Party ideology in Nigeria's Fourth Republic" will be facilitated by Dr Sa'eed Husaini It will be held on Tuesday 14th of July 2020 at 1pm (Nigerian time) on our Facebook page.
Sa’eed Husaini is a doctor from the Department of International Development at the University of Oxford. (Uk). He researches urban party activists belonging to Nigeria’s two main political parties, focusing on what drives their loyalty and disloyalty to their parties across the electoral cycle.
What is the workshop about?
The idea that Nigerian political parties lack ideological content has achieved nearly unanimous acceptance in both academic scholarship and popular discourses. This echoes a wider perception that political parties have been the "weakest link" in the so called "third wave" of democratisation that swept across Africa and other parts of the global south in the early 1990s. Rather than attracting members and candidates on the basis of shared philosophies, political parties in Nigeria are thought to rely primarily on patronage networks and vote-buying, reflecting the supposedly "neopatrimonial" nature of African political parties. The paradigmatic example of the assumed lack of ideology in Nigerian political parties is the ease with which elected officials may switch from one major party to the other. However, the reigning consensus on the ideological emptiness of Nigerian politics relies on a simple but easily overlooked category error: it assumes that ideological politics necessarily requires ideological differentiation between the dominant parties. Rather, I argue that an apparent political consensus that is maintained in spite of the diversity of social and economic forces in society may be stronger evidence for ideological dominance or even hegemony than of ideological vacuity. In this sense, ideology may hide in plain sight.
Through briefly re-considering the history of Nigerian political parties and the popular appeals of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the People's Democratic Party (PDP), Nigeria's contemporary parties of government, my presentation offers ideological convergence as an alternative conception that may account for party switching and the apparent absence of substantive policy disagreement between the two major parties without succumbing to exoticist tropes. I argue that rethinking ideology in Nigerian politics helps us to better understand why political participation remains meaningful for millions of ardent party supporters as well as to better recognise how local normative aspirations and global economic zeitgeists interact to shape the commitments of Nigerian political party members and elite.
How to participate?
It is pretty easy, everybody can participate:
- Like IFRA-Nigeria’s Facebook Page
- Click on the link to watch the live on Tuesday 14th of July at 1pm (Nigerian time).
- You have the possibility to comment during the live. Please only ask relevant questions in line with the discussion.
- Toward the end of the session, there is an opportunity for a short Q&A session where the facilitator Dr Sa'eed Husaini will pick up from the comments and answers the questions live