TOPICS: Social Cohesion, Negotiation, Maritime Conflict, Horn of Africa
Christian Chereji and Ciprian Sandu
ARTICLES in Issue 44 – July 2023:
Nigeria: The State of Social Cohesion. Implications for Policy
Fidelis ALLEN & Kialee Nyiayaana
The development of socially diverse societies depends on social cohesiveness. Yet the subject has remained mainly understudied. This article discusses the level of social cohesion in Nigeria and its consequences for policy. Using primary and secondary data from the African Polling Institute’s annual Nigeria Social Cohesion Project, as well as interview-based primary and secondary data collection methods, the paper illustrates the poor state of social cohesion in Nigeria. People are less willing to work together and have less faith in government officials and institutions. The study participants, except for the North, criticized social cohesion issues of lack of inclusive and participatory political and policy processes and equity in recent appointments to important federal government agencies. Strangely, most participants take pride in being Nigerians and would refuse to move elsewhere permanently in the globe if given the chance. In the meantime, there are no social cohesion policy frameworks other than those that are diagonally pushed, including an unworkable Federal Character Principle. The article makes several recommendations, including the creation of a social cohesion research unit at each of Nigeria’s three levels of government – federal, state, and local – whose main responsibility would be to ensure that each government policy was examined from the standpoint of social cohesion theory. Nigeria’s social cohesion can be increased by offering social services, selecting public officials who reflect the diversity and needs of society, and defining governance more broadly through the prism of social cohesion. This means that, in a deeply divided society like Nigeria, social cohesion can be adopted as a means of preventing destructive conflict.
Nigeria, social cohesion, policy, government, social services, conflict.
Cameroon: Leopard and Conflict Between Ardo Sabga and Fon of Babanki Tungo, 1937-1946
Charles Tardzenyuy JUMBAM & Henry Kam KAH
This paper discusses the nature of disagreement over the treatment of leopards between Ardo Sabga and the Fon of Babanki Tungo between 1937 and 1946 in the North-West Region of Cameroon. It argues that this was a result of differences in the cultural backgrounds of these two eminent personalities greatly respected by the people under their leadership. Ardo Sabga was a Fulani Muslim and leader of the Fulani community and the Fon of Babanki Tungo was the indigenous traditional ruler of Babanki Tungo within whose territory the Fulani had been allowed to settle. Ardo Sabga, a later migrant into the North West Region, found no fault in killing leopards. One reason for doing so was that his cultural background did not recognize the leopard as a sacred animal that should be revered. Secondly, leopards were preying on the young calves of the Fulani which was greatly detested by the cattle owners. In the tradition of Babanki Tungo, like elsewhere in the North West Region, the killing of a leopard was prohibited because it was associated with royalty and respect. The animal is accorded enormous divine characteristics. As a sacred animal, it is expected that everyone should treat it with reverence. In this paper, the qualitative method has been used to understand people’s perceptions of the leopard as a sacred animal. Some statistics have also been presented to explain this phenomenon that is buried in the traditions and customs of different people around the world. The killing of leopards as sacred animals led to a clash between Ardo Sabga, who committed the act, and the Fon of Babanki Tungo, who vehemently detested it. The British colonial administration was drawn into the conflict to mediate between the belligerents.
Ardo Sabga, Babanki Tungo, conflict, Fon, Fulani, Leopard, custom.
Determinants of Failure in a Two-Level Negotiation Game
The article examines the impact of the activity of the parties involved, as well as of third parties, on the effectiveness of strategic negotiations with non-state organizations. It affirms that third-party implication in the form of mediation has been a core part of peace formation initiatives in the deeply divided Israeli and Palestinian societies, beset by competing cultural and ethnoreligious grievances. At first, key aspects of negotiation regarding the demarcation of the Zone of Possible Agreement (ZOPA), the significance of concessions, power asymmetry, and the level of conflict are specified through theoretical integration. The aim is to facilitate the study of the Israel-Palestine conflict, upon which negotiation theory is applied. Further on, the analysis conducted herein proves that domestic politics and third parties’ priorities have limited the necessary flexibility and undermined the respective processes. The article argues that third-party interference has been ineffective and has protracted the conflict’s dynamics, thwarting peace formation, and thus contributing to a deterioration of the status of the polities involved. To partly verify the findings, an interview with a member of a Palestinian Diplomatic Representation was conducted. The conclusion entails the imperative that a substantial interest in resolving a conflict is required to be based upon the commitment and capability of each and every party involved while avoiding a self-serving bias, third-party partiality, and the augmentation of frustration due to arbitrary activity.
Negotiation, ethnopolitical conflict, radicalism, third actors, international organizations, Israel, Palestine.
Economic Interdependence and Conflict in Eastern Mediterranean: The Case of the Maritime Conflict Between Turkiye and Greece
Meysune YASAR & Hilal ZORBA BAYRAKTAR
In the Eastern Mediterranean, there are maritime territorial disputes between different states, particularly Türkiye and Greece. This study examines the impact of economic interdependence on the ongoing disputes in the Eastern Mediterranean, focusing on the relationship between these disputes and economic interdependence and hypothesizing that economic interdependence creates a security dilemma between states. This hypothesis is tested through the dispute between Türkiye and Greece in the Eastern Mediterranean. Türkiye and Greece, which have a long history of disputes in the region, have important themes of competition on regional and global grounds, particularly maritime jurisdictions. The study focuses on the relationship between these themes of competition and economic interdependence and reveals the security dilemma that this interdependence creates between the two states. Copeland’s trade expectations model is used to analyze this relationship. The model focuses on the impact of trade and economic interdependence on states and discusses the conflict-peace possibilities that may arise from this impact. However, this study takes the security dilemma out of the military realm and moves it to the economic realm, supporting Copeland’s model by arguing that economic interdependence can also create a security dilemma situation. In the study, the periods of crisis in Türkiye and Greece were analyzed together with their defense expenditures to reveal their perceptions of “suspicion” and “concern”. In the end, it was concluded that Türkiye has more security concerns than Greece. When this situation is analyzed through the security of identity, it is seen that ontological insecurity emerges.
Economic interdependence, Turkiye, Greece, Security Dilemma, Eastern Mediterranean.
Middle East: States Rivalry in the Horn of Africa. Key Drives, Geopolitical Implications, and Security Challenges
Nigusu Adem YIMER & Hailu Gelana ERKO
The entanglements of Middle East states in the Horn of Africa are debilitating the politically volatile region. The Middle East states power projection schemes and the race to build up military bases have been threatening the security of the Horn region by exporting the regional rivalries in the Middle East to the Horn of Africa. Typically, as is so often the case, the rival Middle East states become more attracted to the geopolitically crucial Horn region with conflicting core interests, and the local political actors have not been casual observers; instead, they use their playing cards to shape the involvement of Middle East powers. In this vein, the growing integration of the Horn region with the Arabian Peninsula security dynamics and the rising interests of Middle East states to militarize the Horn of Africa are ending up exacerbating the stability of the Horn of Africa more than ever before.
Horn of Africa, Middle East states, rivalry, geopolitics, security.