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Title: Domestic Political Structure and Foreign Policy The Nigerian Experience 1960-1974.
Author: Asobie, H. A.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3430 9709
Awarding Body: London School of Economics and Political Science (University of London)
Current Institution: London School of Economics and Political Science (University of London)
Date of Award: 1977
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It is commonly assumed tha~ th~ foreign policy of a / pr J.r.lar J. l y developing country is shaped oy the personality and philosophy of its Chief of State or Head of Government. Consequently, • the influence of the views and attitudes of the ruler's subordinates and his political opponents is often understressed, and the impact of the country's Bureaucracy is seldom examined, by students of the foreign policies of new states. This study attempts to fill this gap. It examines the effects of the orientation and organizational structure of the Federal Bureaucracy on Nigeria's foreign policy, as well as the extent to which the changing pattern of power relations between rival subnational groups and political leaders affected Nigeria's attitudes to foreign policy issues, between 1960 and 1974. The thesis is divided into two parts. Part I consists of two chapters both of which deal with the Bureaucracy: this part examines the gradual development of the Foreign Service, and the decentralization of external affairs functions and the impact of this Bureaucratic structure on foreign policy. The mamfinding here is that the pro-British orientation of the Foreign Service (which was a function of the British-oriented education of Nigerians in general, and the British professional training of the Nigerian diplomatists in particular) reinforced the pro-Western moderation and pragmatism of Nigerian leaders. This laid a foundation for a pro-Western and moderate policy on independence. Furthermore the initial structural weakness of the Foreign Service gave room for the influence of political leaders and other arms of the Bureaucracy to be brought to bear on the formulation and conduct of ext~rnal policy. It was a~so found that the decentralization of responsibility for the . management of external relations, the lack of clear definition of jurisdictional lines between di.fferent arms of the Bureaucracy and the absence of inadequate policy-coordinatingunits produced incoherence and inconsistency in foreign policy formulation and execution. Part II is the core of the thesis; it consists of six chapters. These deal with the influence of ,regional governments, political parties, and parapolitical organiza- .'tions on Nigeria's policy towards the Great Powers (Chapters Three and Four), the Middle East states (Chapters Five and Six) and Africa (Chapters Seven and Eight). The focus is on how the changing power positions of the different subnational political groups vis a vis the Federal Government - their relative political strengths and the nature of their political relationships with the central Government - affected their attitudes towards foreign policy issues, and how far the Federal Government itself responded to the pressures of these political groups for policy changes., It has been found that political leaders used foreign policy issues as instruments in the domestic power struggle - they manipulated foreign policy issues to consolidate or enhance their power positions. Successive Federal Governments also attempted to outflank political opponents by making shifts in their previous policy positions. Generally, the Governments' policies were responsive to domestic pressures and concerns and there was a close link between Nigeria's domestic politics and its foreign policy.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available