The Nigerian Political Science Association (NPSA) is out with a calendar of its commitments for the first half of the year 2024. A statement from the Secretariat and signed by Secretary, Dr Adebola Bakare provided the listing which is published in full below
What is likely from the list below is that no other issues may be as volatile as the debate on restructuring. Intervention does not know the theoretical inclinations of those to whom the restructuring debate has been assigned but they can hardly be all structuralists. Restructuring is a structuralist agenda. When it comes to Nigeria, structuralists are those who believe that the trouble with Nigeria is the structure, particularly the federal arrangement.
Even if the paper presenters are all structuralists, there will still be hot exchanges since there are structuralists who do not accept that the structure is the only source of meaning and the trouble with Nigeria. There are those who subscribe to the view that structure and agency are co-constitutive. So, that is one possible source of the light and heat in the debate.
If there are institutionalists among the paper presenters, then that is another likely axis of fireworks. Institutionalists would say that the Nigerian crisis is a crisis of institutions, not of structures. Institutionalists argue that institutions are though creations of power, they are also in power through control of information and allocative justice because of the ample resources they control. That is why leading intuitionalists such Robert Keohane think that proponents of hegemonic theory of stability in International Relations got it all wrong in putting too much faith in the hegemon as guarantor of global stability. The classic text here is Robert Keohane’s After Hegemony. Current events in world politics are proving him right.
Intervention can vouch that if there are discourse theorists on the list, then the debate on restructuring could be truly explosive. Discourse theorists will dismiss both structuralists and institutionalists, saying that both structures and institutions are all products of discourse. It is a claim such a discourse analyst will prove with stunning empirics to the chagrin of structuralists and institutionalists.
Intervention is not sure if there is any Marxist scholar on the list who is likely to pose the class explanation for the disarray in Nigeria as against structuralist insistence that the answer to the disarray lies in restructuring.
With this explosive possibility, the NPSA might be the cynosure of all eyes as from the moment the debate on restructuring takes place and afterwards.
Intervention looks forward to the encounters in not just on restructuring but all the topics listed as follows:
Speaker: Prof. W. A. Fawole
Topic: Contemporary Nigeria’s Foreign Policy
Date: 17 January, 2024
Speaker 1: Prof. Chris Isike
Topic: The Role of Political Scientists in a Democracy: Experiences from Southern Africa.
Speaker 2: Prof. Adibe Jideofor
Topic: The Role of Political Scientists in a Democracy: Experiences from Europe and Americas
Date: 24 January, 2024
*Programme on Restructuring:
Topic 1: Historical and Conceptual Issues on Restructuring
Speaker: Dr. Jonathan Maiangwa
Date: 29 January
Topic 2: The Necessity for Restructuring Nigeria
Speaker: Dr. Jude Odigbo
Date: 29 January
Topic 3: Areas and the Mechanisms for Restructuring Nigeria
Date: 5 February
Topic 4: Is Restructuring the only Panacea to Nigeria’s Problems?
Speaker: Dr. Khadijat Gunmbi
Date: 5 February
Speaker1: Prof. Bolaji Omitola
Speaker 2: Prof. S. Best
Date: 10 February, 2024
Towards a New Electoral System in Nigeria
Speaker 1. Prof. Abiodun M. Oni
Speaker 2: Prof. Murtala Mohammed
Date: 12 February, 2024
*Second Seminar Series on Nigeria’s Democracy 15 and 22 February, 2024
*Presentation of Reports on Impact of Democracy at the State level in March, 2024.
*Annual Conference in April in Lokoja
- Brainstorming session on Nigeria’s Democracy immediately after the Lokoja Conference in Anyigba
- Brainstorming session on Nigeria’s Democracy in Dutse in May, 2024.