By Larry Diamond (auth.)

ISBN-10: 1349080802

ISBN-13: 9781349080809

ISBN-10: 1349080829

ISBN-13: 9781349080823

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First, the line of cleavage and the composition of the competing cleavage groups are identified. Second, the outcome of each major conflict is established - whether it was resolved in a manner accepted as minimally fair and legitimate by all major groups, indeed, whether it was resolved at all in the sense of ceasing to be a current of political tension and enmity. This information is important for assessing the effect of the outcome on the stability and democraticness of the regime. Such an endeavour, when we already know the regime's ultimate fate, risks degenerating into post-hoc justifications.

Useful here is a kind of 'mental experiment' which asks whether the outcome of a particular crisis or conflict would have been different had the state of a given factor been different (George, 1979b). Finally, the analysis of each crisis seeks to establish any feedback effects it may have had on social or political conditions, through which it may have shaped the nature and outcome of subsequent crises. To what extent might a crisis have served as a (positive or negative) 'learning experience' for political elites and participants, altering their beliefs, attitudes, and styles of advocacy, or even the social and political structures framing their competition?

In the two regions of Southern Nigeria, political office became the most reliable and desirable route to membership in the emerging dominant class - what Sklar (1963: 480-94) termed the 'new and rising class' - and government power became the primary means for the accumulation of personal wealth. These materialist, elitist values were new phenomena fostered by Western contact and colonial rule. Traditional cultures did not value the personal accumulation of material wealth, nor did ordinary people seek mobility through it, and traditional stratification systems had no ruling class or aristocracy - indeed, some peoples (such as the Igbo) had no rigid class distinctions of any kind (Smythe and Smythe, 1960: 69; Lloyd, 1960: 47; Uchendu, 1965).

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Class, Ethnicity and Democracy in Nigeria: The Failure of the First Republic by Larry Diamond (auth.)


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