Globalization, Nigeria, Boko Haram, Niger Delta conflict
In this era of globalization, relationships between institutions, organizations, and individuals have achieved unprecedented connectivity worldwide. While producing both positive and negative outcomes, the vast majority of these interactions are nonviolent in nature. In some cases, however, the impacts of globalization colliding with traditional cultures and their values have resulted in violent extremism. While such extremism can be observed in many different states worldwide, Nigeria presents a particularly interesting case.
Though vastly different in character, two ongoing conflicts in Nigeria, the Boko Haram Insurgency and the Niger Delta Conflict, can both be considered responses to certain aspects of globalization. Using the Method of Agreement to find commonalities which may contribute to understanding broader trends, this paper will examine extremism as a backlash against globalization, a framework developed by Australian military strategist and counterinsurgency expert David Kilcullen in his book The Accidental Guerilla.
As explained by Kilcullen, negative response to the cultural, economic, and political dominance of Western ideals and values is a unifying thread between many disparate extremist groups and conflicts worldwide and, indeed, is an organizing principle for many of them. 2 In addition, the wildly uneven economic effects of globalization have created international classes of haves and have-nots. The have-nots are disenfranchised and are, thanks to globalized news media, fully aware of the luxurious lives that the emerging class of global elites enjoy at their expense. As a result, there is a strong tendency to blame this condition-often not incorrectly-on the economic forces of globalization which are inextricably linked to the West. While Kilcullen's model is certainly not a comprehensive theory for analyzing every extremist group, it does provide a useful framework for evaluating whether an actor's behavior can be explained by the economic and cultural impacts of Western-led globalization on their immediate environment.
"Extremism as a Response to Globalization: Case Study: Nigeria,"
Occam's Razor: Vol. 9
, Article 6.
Available at: https://cedar.wwu.edu/orwwu/vol9/iss1/6
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