By Richard Joseph
The following introductory remarks come from the final talk in a three-part series by Prof. Richard Joseph, delivered at the Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law (CDDRL) at Stanford University on April 25, 2012. The remarks can be read below. The accompanying PowerPoint presentation can be found here, and video of the talk is available for viewing here.
The notion of prebendalism came to me fairly suddenly, in 1978-79, while conducting research in Nigeria on the transition to civilian rule after over a decade of military government. I first advanced the concept in a 1983 article that became a book chapter; and it featured centrally in my 1987 book, Democracy and Prebendal Politics: The Rise and Fall of the Second Republic. In September 2011, a conference was convened in Lagos, Nigeria, to discuss the book and the continued significance of prebendalism in Nigerian political, social and economic life. A volume edited by Wale Adebanwi and Ebenezer Obadare, Democracy and Prebendalism in Nigeria: Critical Reinterpretations, is now in preparation.