Understanding the Nigerian Way of National Security : Towards a theoretical Framework for National Security Strategic Personality

Samuel, Olamide Mobolaji (2017) Understanding the Nigerian Way of National Security : Towards a theoretical Framework for National Security Strategic Personality. Doctoral thesis, University of Buckingham.

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Abstract

This thesis develops an explanatory typology, called the "National Security Strategic Personality theory (NSSP)". This theory is aimed at revealing how the operationalisation of national security, against threats with agency, is different from state to state. In developing this theory, the author focuses on identifying Nigerian state behaviour towards its perceived malicious threats, from 1960 through 2014. The NSSP theory is the result of an informed development of existing theoretical frameworks namely; Strategic Culture, and National Strategic Personality, into a coherent analytical tool. This framework utilises a constructivist ontology, to carefully extract viable elements (such as the state, security and referent objects) of the strategic culture and national strategic personality theoretical frameworks respectively. The NSSP framework then proceeds to reapply the extracted concepts, into an explanatory typology, so as to maximise their explanatory and predictive efficiency. The National Security Strategic Personality framework proposes that national security strategies of states, indeed share discernible similarities, but also possess distinct differences in character. This proposition is based on a systemic investigation into state behaviour against malicious threats, which identifies where state behaviour occurs, why such behaviour occurs, and how it occurs. The framework then proposes that the similarities and differences which one observes amounts to unique strategic personalities that can be documented. The hypotheses put forward in this thesis ascertain that: Every State possesses a unique National Security Strategic Personality which guides state actions against its perceived malicious threats to its referent objects. The unique National Security Strategic Personalities of states can be identified and adequately characterised by utilising the three elements of the National Security Strategic Personality Theoretical Framework The three elements proposed to be of fundamental importance to understanding the personality of national security strategies, are: Orientation, the physical location which a state considers as being within its theatre of operations, within which one can observe state behaviour. Inflationary Containment, active and passive coercive means enacted by a state, which enables one to identify what referent objects the state prioritises. Compression, the strategic means which a state chooses to control or exterminate its perceived malicious threats. Orientation, Inflationary Containment and Compression are treated as independent variables which enable us to characterise the individual dimensions of a National Security Strategic Personality. Together, the characterised independent variables provide us with a comprehensive understanding of the characteristics of the National Security Strategic Personality as a whole, which is identified as a dependent variable. The development of an explanatory typological theory and the case study method of evaluation go hand-in-hand. The typological nature of the NSSP theory enables researchers to identify the NSSP of a state at any given time, while the implementation of case study analysis enables the researcher to comparatively analyse and distinguish between NSSPs of a state which may change over time. The researcher views the case study method of analysis, as the most appropriate tool to superimpose the NSSP theory on the selected case studies to evaluate its validity. The employment of the case study method in this thesis, facilitates comparative analysis of four phases of governance in Nigeria. These comparative observations highlight the creation and normalisation of essential aspects of Nigeria's national security strategy, which have a significant impact on the nature of Nigeria's response to national security threats today. This method also increases the probability of identifying developmental patterns, by ascertaining the aspects of Nigeria's National Security Strategic Personality which have persisted over the period under review, and also detects the aspects of the NSSPs which have been relatively flexible. The author believes that analysing state behaviour against threats with agency, enables one to understand the nature of state strategic behaviour against them. This analysis enables crisp scholarly characterisation of the true nature of what, up until now, we have believed to be a fog of strategic culture that influences the delivery of national security. The identification and characterisation of National Security Strategic Behaviour is capable of empowering scholars with more accurate predictive capabilities when anticipating the future of the security strategy of an observed state. These predictive capabilities would be reliably based on the observed dynamics of state behaviour.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: International security; terrorism; Boko Haram; Nigeria, politics and government
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Divisions: School of Humanities > Economics and International Studies
Depositing User: Rachel Pollard
Date Deposited: 04 Dec 2019 10:42
Last Modified: 04 Dec 2019 10:42
URI: http://bear.buckingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/435

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