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Periodical issue Periodical issue Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Perspectives on vigilantism in Nigeria
Editor:Pratten, DavidISNI
Periodical:Africa: Journal of the International African Institute (ISSN 0001-9720)
Geographic term:Nigeria
Subject:vigilante groups
External links:http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayIssue?jid=AFR&volumeId=78&seriesId=0&issueId=01
Abstract:Since the return to democracy in 1999, Nigeria has witnessed a proliferation of vigilantism: vigilante groups have organized at a variety of levels, from lineage to ethnic group, in a variety of locations, from village ward to city street, and for a variety of reasons, from crime fighting to political lobbying. Vigilantism is ambiguously positioned, in the interstices between State and society, law and disorder, and legitimacy and illegitimacy. Two central axes of this ambiguity are explored here in the Nigerian context. The first concerns the way in which contemporary vigilantism in Nigeria has been at the forefront of contests over the authority of the State. As a 'frontier phenomenon' vigilantism serves to define community and constituency. In patrolling the boundaries of ethnicity, religion, morality, youth and sex, vigilantes provide a lens for assessing ongoing reformulations of citizenship in terms of the politics of identity, gender and generation. This focus on community belonging intersects with the second axis, which concerns the social organization and localized meanings of vigilantism. In this respect, vigilante practices need to be related to cultural logics and social imperatives in a consideration of the intermeshing of sociality and security as a cultural discourse that permeates Nigerian society, and as both counterpoint and complement to the 'police failure' thesis. Regionally, the articles provide a diverse range of perspectives. Two, by Murray Last and Fatima L. Adamu, examine northern, Islamic, Hausaphone contexts; two, by Laurent Fourchard and Insa Nolte, reflect on southwestern Yoruba cases, Nolte specifically on Yoruba women in the Oodua People's Congress (OPC); Adam Higazi looks at the Plateau region; and David Pratten discusses the southern minority groups, in particular the Annang. [ASC Leiden abstract]