Normative Approaches to Ethnic Recognition and Accommodation: Their Applicability to the Nigerian Experience
This article explores the central theme in the normative philosophy arguments of Michael Walzer; Charles Taylor; and Will Kymlicka and their applicability to the state building processes and constitutional politics in Nigeria. The main argument of these scholars is that, in a multicultural society, equality and justice; unity and stability are likely to prevail if state building and constitutional processes of a country recognises and accommodates ethnic diversity. Critically applied, the article observes that since liberal democratic values are not well rooted in the Nigerian body politics, the specificity of the Nigerian state would have to be recognised for the normative arguments to be completely applicable. Under the given, the article concludes that, strict application of the normative prescriptions in Nigeria’s multiethnic society could trigger escalating cycles of ethno-political tensions, institutional instabilities, and demand by groups for exit from the Nigerian state.
Key words: Ethnic accommodation; Ethnic diversity; Ethnic recognition; National unity; Nigerian experience; Normative approaches; Political stability
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