International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

Democracy and Terrorism in Nigeria: An Empirical Assessment
Victoria Hauwa Ibrahim

This study empirically investigates both the political and socio-economic determinants of terrorism in Nigeria by conducting a series of negative binomial regressions over the time period of 1999-2013. The study analyzed first the effect of a range of political variables like democratic participation, political competition and institutional constrains on the counts of terrorist incidents. Then the study probes the effect of the socioeconomic variables: GDP per capita, economic growth, and trade openness. The study lends credence to the hypotheses that greater democratic participation, political competition, and executive constraints increase the counts of terrorist events in Nigeria. Moreover, the study finds no strong empirical evidence to suggest that economic development reduces terrorism in Nigeria. The results show that modernization pressures and changing economic conditions has a small and significantly negative effect on terrorist incidents, Furthermore, contrary to the terrorism empirical literature, the results display that trade openness has a significant and positive relationship with terrorism in Nigeria, albeit a small one. The robustness checks, deploying an alternative dependent terrorist variable and a nationwide security poll carried out by NOIPolls to gauge the perception of Nigerians on the major causes of terrorism, yield very similar sets of results. The overall pattern of relationships remains essentially identical.

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