The impact of (counter-)terrorism on public (in)security in Nigeria: a vernacular analysis

Oyawale, Akinyemi (2018) The impact of (counter-)terrorism on public (in)security in Nigeria: a vernacular analysis. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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In Nigeria, the ongoing conflict between the state and insurgents has resulted in widespread insecurity, primarily in the Northeast. While much has been done on explaining the insurgency, very little has been done to address non-elite understanding of both phenomena in non-institutional settings. To achieve this aim, this study asks: How do various publics in Nigeria understand and discuss (counter-)terrorism? What are the implications of these understandings for security?

Drawing on four months of critical ethnographic field work on Internally Displaced Persons at camps in Northern Nigeria, this study collected data primarily via forty-one in-depth interviews, participant observation, and field notes. Using discursive psychological analysis, the study examines how various publics in Nigeria construct their various versions of the Self, Other, terrorism and counterterrorism and how they position themselves within talk (and text). The thesis provides an original, in-depth analysis of public understandings and constructions of (counter-)terrorism, which offers a rich understanding of both Boko Haram and Nigerian counterterrorism. It captures what people’s knowledge is about the security project and how they understand, interpret, support, reformulate and sometimes resist the ongoing security project.

Four overarching arguments are advanced. First, they construct Boko Haram and state violence as a game which has implications for normative evaluations thereof. Second, publics advance an identity-based discourse on (counter-)terrorism, suggesting that it is a form of identity domination by both state and non-state actors. Third, they also advance an interest-centred discourse which constructs (counter-)terrorism as interest-oriented and rationality-based, suggesting that it serves various economic interests. Public knowledge on (counter-)terrorism is therefore characterised by a competition between these two main discourses, i.e., the interest-based discourse and identity-based or ethno-religiously-oriented discourses. Four, publics argue that counterterrorism has focused on retaining political offices and maintaining political control over the country.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Politics, Philosophy, Language and Communication Studies
Depositing User: Users 11011 not found.
Date Deposited: 18 Oct 2019 10:41
Last Modified: 25 Jan 2023 13:42

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