Assessment of the Challenges to Nigeria’s Medium Power Role in Global Affairs: A Case Study of the Fourth Republic (1999-2015)

Assessment of the Challenges to Nigeria’s Medium Power Role in Global Affairs: A Case Study of the Fourth Republic (1999-2015)

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Middle powers are nations that have considerable influence in global affairs. These countries usually take a multilateral approach to solving international problems. Therefore, middle powers identify important transnational issues and mobilize other countries to tackle them. But middle powers must be countries with substantial power constituents – large economy and population, and strong military force. This study examined the medium power role of Nigeria in the global space between 1999 and 2015. This study adopted the realist theory of the elements of national power as theoretical framework to provide theoretical orientation to the study. Purposively, eight Nigerian diplomats were interviewed using the in-depth interview method. Using primary data collected through interviews and documentary analysis, the study found out that Nigeria is still a middle power that is very pivotal in African peace and stability, especially that of West Africa. Though the findings of this work maintain that Nigeria is still influential in regional as well as global politics, her role is consistently threatened by both domestic and external threats. These threats comprise internal security dilemma such as Boko Haram insurgency, Niger-Delta militancy, kidnappings; domestic political squabbles of corruption and economic retrogression; and the rise of South Africa, Ethiopia and other African powers. Despite these, Nigeria remains a pivotal state in world affairs. Finally, it is concluded that Nigeria is still a middle power even though it has scaled back in many respects. However, in order to remain a firm middle power, it must rebuild her image internationally by addressing the domestic as well as international challenges threatening her power. It is recommended that Nigeria must reconcile her domestic realities and her ambitions abroad. It must fight the Boko Haram and other domestic security threats squarely in order for the needed foreign investments to flow and for other African countries to continue to accept her leadership. Nigeria must also increase the number of her military force to a large force without sacrificing equipment and training. Nigeria must continue to engage Africa and the world with new initiatives in order to keep her role as a medium or middle power in global affairs.




1.1 Background to the Study

The concept of middle power is a h

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