Political Stability and National Security Research Paper

Pages: 20 (6027 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 30  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Doctorate  ·  Topic: Government


[. . .] Establish the relationship between political stability and national security.

Examine the implications of political stability on national security in Nigeria.

Identify the challenges and prospects associated with political stability and national security in Nigeria.

Proffer strategies that can be adopted to ensure political stability strengthens national security in Nigeria.

Significance of the study

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This study will be useful to the political class at federal, state and local government levels in formulating policies that will help in steering the conduct of governance. It will also be useful to various government functionaries in the executive, legislative and judicial arms of government in enacting laws that could promote political stability in order to enhance national security. Furthermore, it will be relevant to Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) like National Democratic Institute (NDI), Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), Civil Liberty Organisation (CLO), and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) working on issues of governance and security in Nigeria. Donor agencies working on governance and development issues in Nigeria such as the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Department of Foreign Development (DFID) and Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) will also benefit from the findings. Finally, the study will be relevant to the academia as a useful reference material to future scholars and catalyst that will stimulate other studies on political stability and national security in Nigeria.

Literature review

In this chapter, the key variables; political stability and national security were conceptualized, and the relationship between them was established.

Political stability

Research Paper on Political Stability & National Security Assignment

According to (Ehindero 157)[footnoteRef:8], the concept of political stability is the ability of a political system to retain the support of its people for government policies within a stable range. It also implies the ability to avoid radical and sudden change, within a political and socio-economic environment. The most important characteristic of a stable political system is identified as low level of actual and potential civil violence. This concept stipulates the basic principles of political stability. However, it did not signify what constitutes avoidance of radical and sudden change in socio-political environment within a country such as Nigeria. Hence, it is inadequate for this study. [8: Ehindero 157]

On the other hand, (Nwolise 14)[footnoteRef:9] conceptualizes political stability as the stability of a government and is also the situation in a country in which government runs its tenure and is peacefully and constitutionally changed. Again, this concept is not explicit on the type of stability whether authoritarian, charismatic or democratic based on developed institutions. Stability could be attained based on suppression of the opposition as have been witnessed in several African states like Cote'd Ivoire. Hence, it is not considered apt for this study. [9: Nwolise 14]

(Mohammed1)[footnoteRef:10] asserts that political stability is the steadiness and firmness of political institutions and processes within the political system as well as absence of threats to an existing pattern of authority and behavior. As recognized by Mohammed, the key drivers in political stability are strong political institutions and absence of threats to authority. However, even the most developed democracies such as the U.S. occasionally experience threats. What is important is for the political system to device mechanism for overcoming these challenges. Based on the foregoing this concept is considered not all encompassing and it is therefore, not adopted. [10: Mohammed1]

From the foregoing, it is explicit that different scholars have their different opinions on what constitute political stability. However, the common denomination is the emphasis on the consistency of a political system and its institutions. Consequently, political stability shall be taken for the purpose of this study as the existence of a political system based on functional political and socio-economic institutions to deliver good governance to improve quality of life for citizens. Also, it includes competent institutions that are, evolving, involving and reflecting the moral consensus, mutual interest, principle, tradition, myth, purpose, or code of behaviour that the persons or groups have in common. This concept, apart from emphasizing the importance of functional political institutions, it also highlighted the need for participation in resolving the differences when the need arises. The concept has the potential of impacting positively on national security.

National security

(Lippman 6)[footnoteRef:11] posits that a nation is secured, when it is capable not to lose its core values, life, property and liberty, and if it wishes, to deter aggression or win war when unavoidable. National security therefore is always the primary concern of every country as it bears on the fundamental needs of individuals and groups as well as the survival of the nation as a viable entity. Consequently, Lippman views national security in terms of the survival of the state and protection from external aggression through the use of the military. His opinion is considered as too narrow as the international system has made the concept of national security to be no longer based on sufficient military strength to defend national interests. Thus this concept is inadequate for this study. [11: Lippman 6]

According to (McNamara 149)[footnoteRef:12], national security means development in a modernizing society. Security is not a military force, though it may involve it and security is not traditional military activity though it may include it. Therefore, security is development and without development, there can be no security. This discourse is in line with contemporary concept of national security based on both development and military force, but negates natural disasters which humanity needs to be protected from its effects. Hence, it is not adopted for this study. [12: McNamara 149]

In the context of this study therefore, national security is the totality of efforts taken to protect the territorial integrity and the cherished values of the nation and its citizens. Also, it involves improvement on the living standard of the people through delivery of good governance and development. Furthermore, national security guarantees freedom of citizenry from all forms of anxiety, threats to life and property, peace and ethno-religious harmony and food security. Finally, national security entails protection of citizens from natural or man-made disasters, strengthening the rule of law and transparent political and socio-economic institutions.

Relationship between political stability and national security

The primary responsibility of a government is to create political stability to retain the support of its people within a peaceful and conducive environment to protect lives and properties. This could be achieved through delivery of good governance and transparent political and socio-economic institutions to improve quality of life for its citizens. When the government succeeds in carrying out these responsibilities to create stable political atmosphere, then national security is enhanced. However, when government fails in these responsibilities, national security suffers. (Akinyemi 67-77)[footnoteRef:13] [13: Akinyemi 67-77]

Furthermore, in a stable political environment, political institutions have the capacity to resolve challenges when the need arises. Thus, it could create peaceful atmosphere with the potential of impacting positively on national security and people could go about their normal business to improve their living conditions. In other words, national security depends on sustainable political stability. Hence, there is a direct and associational relationship between political stability and national security


The research design adopted in this study is field survey and secondary analysis. The choice of the survey method was informed by the need to collect data from informed opinions on the subject matter. The choice of secondary analysis is to enable the researcher benefit from existing literature on the subject matter. The breakdown of the procedure adopted is outlined below:

Sources of data

Data were to be collected through primary and secondary sources.

Method of data collection

The methods for collection of data are outlined below:

Primary data

Primary data were collected through unstructured interviews with members of the political class, seasoned academics and CSOs working on issues of governance and security, members of the Jury, Trade Union (TU) executives. Also, security chieftains within the Armed Forces and the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) would be interviewed.

Secondary data

Secondary data were collected from books, journals, magazines and newspapers. Others include published and unpublished lectures, conferences and seminar papers, and online sources. Consequently, the researcher made use of the library facilities at National Defence College (NDC), Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR), University of Abuja, University of Jos and National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru, Jos.

Method of data analysis

The data collected were analysed qualitatively using logical reasoning to arrive at cogent deductions and recommendations

Method of data presentation

The findings of this research were reported descriptively.

Limitations of the study

The major limitations of the study were the inability to obtain classified documents and materials relating to political stability and national security in Nigeria. In addition, some of those scheduled for interview were inaccessible for interview up to the time of concluding this work especially some key members of the political class. However, this limitation did not adversely affect the validity of the study as enough primary sources were consulted and interviewed. Consequently, findings from primary sources were used to support and… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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