n Africa Insight - Nigeria's South African policy 1973-1993 : a study in historical materialism and international relations

Volume 43, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 0256-2804


Historical materialism as a discourse assumes that the economic determines the political and other dimensions of society. Nigeria had set specific conditions for renewed relations with apartheid South Africa. These were yet to be met and the intensity that characterised Nigeria's pursuance of an aggressive anti-apartheid policy in the 1970s began to wane as from the 1980s. This article is of the view that 'dramatic changes' might have occurred in Nigeria itself that altered the level of priority on Southern Africa. These 'dramatic changes' were in the form of economic constraints which naturally led to a change in foreign policy choice for Nigeria between 1983 and 1993. This article is a study of the ebbs and flows in Nigeria's South African policy over two decades. Specifically, the article examines the extent to which the economic downturn occasioned by the fall in crude oil revenue from the 1980s altered Nigeria's hitherto aggressive anti-apartheid policy.

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