GLOBAL TURBULENCE AND NIGERIA’S CITIZEN DIPLOMACY: 2007-2016
Global turbulence and citizen diplomacy is the outcome of our original research project designed to explore the problematic of the extent to which the laudable policy of citizen diplomacy adopted by the Nigerian Government in 2007 has been translated into practice, on the assumption that this development was critical to the empowerment or emancipation of the citizenry. In the course of the research, a new reality came to the fore: the real challenge of Nigeria like most Third World Countries, is not whether citizen diplomacy or any other Social Programme is properly implemented or not, but the difficulties imposed on them and Nigeria in particular, by the fall-outs or consequences of global turbulence, conceived in terms of the multiple processes of change and transformation in the global system associated with globalization: the rise of new actors, the generation of new interests, conflicts and identities that fuel and sustain micro and macro nationalism and pull citizens in divergent directions and dilute loyalty to the nation-state. The activities of Boko Haram symbolize in vivid terms the impact of global turbulence in Nigeria as expressed by global Islam and international terrorism. Relying on a careful reformulation of J. David Singers (1962) Level of Analysis Problem in International Relations, the research came to the conclusion that it was the consequences of global turbulence seen in Boko Haram and other ethnic separatist movements and militias that made it impossible for Nigeria to devote any significant amount of national resources to the prosecution of citizen diplomacy. Although, the policy was designed to significantly impact the country’s Diaspora seen as a vital reservoir of assets for Nigeria’s national development. The paper ended with a recommendation for the institution of a citizen diplomacy Trust Fund to cover the costs of citizen diplomacy and support the training of Nigerian diplomats to protect the interests of Nigerians abroad.
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