The political economy of north-south relations : Japan's relations with Nigeria, 1960-1985
This thesis argues that the explanation for underdevelopment should be sought primarily in the structural distortions of the domestic economy, the incoherence of national interests, as well as other internal political contradictions. By looking at the dynamics of Japan's relations with Nigeria between 1960 and 1985, it seeks to demonstrate how these factors militate not only against a beneficial interchange with a Northern economy, but against effective participation in the international economy. This constitutes a contrary diagnostic position to the literature which underpins the logic on which The Bretton Woods and Dependency Schools of thought are based. The thesis considers the following issues. First, it critically examines the role of the trading pattern, characterized by its vertical structure, along with trade policies, in the relationship between Nigeria and Japan. Secondly, it considers whether Japanese investments in Nigeria have contributed to the growth and development process in Nigeria. To that extent it considers whether they were merely part of a calculated trade objective; namely, the dominance of certain sectors of the Nigerian economy. The thesis also examines the role played by Nigerian domestic policies and its environment in determining the degree of reciprocity and interdependence. Finally, it seeks to assess the role played by Japanese aid and the degree of importance attached to Nigeria in particular and development issues in general in Japan's foreign policy. The thesis concludes that at the time of Nigeria's independence, the relationship was potentially one of interdependence and the explanation for any subsequent asymmetry needs to be sought in government's failure to mobilize national potential and in terms of the operation of the international market economy. At issue is not just the nature of a particular bilateral relationship but the management of North-South relations.