Unstable Socio-Economic Conditions and Violent Extremism: The Case of Nigeria

Date
2023
Authors
Kandissounon, Jean Philippe Fawaz
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Abstract

This thesis examines the connection between violent extremism and the socio-economic systems in West Africa, precisely, in Nigeria. For the past ten years, the country has experienced a significant surge of violence related to extremism, radical groups mainly, Boko Haram also known as Islamic State in West Africa has flourished and spread violence through terrorist attacks, raids, and kidnappings. Including evidence from books, research articles and previous studies, this thesis shows that Nigeria's poor socio-economic environment is at the root of the violence that the country is currently experiencing. For decades, Nigerian's leaders have led and implemented numerous policies that have weakened the economy and incidentally fractured the social connections between the people, thus creating a fertile ground for all sorts of radical groups and violence. This thesis also shows that while the country has an history of ethno- religious conflicts, and that radical groups assert to be reacting to an incursion of western ideologies, bad governance added to an endemic corruption for decades have kept the country in a constant state of poverty creating a decline in trust in government. Furthermore, this state-of-affairs have polarized the population through religion, thus facilitating the birth of the deadliest terrorist group the country has ever seen. Based on the literature and data exploited, this research confirm that poor socio-economic conditions are the causes of violent extremism in the case of Nigeria.

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Keywords
Extremism, Nigeria, Violent extremism, Socio-economic systems, Endemic corruption
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Department
Political Science and Geography