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Public goods and ethnocultural diversity: A case of Nigeria

Gwozdz, Mateusz (2016) Public goods and ethnocultural diversity: A case of Nigeria. Masters by Coursework thesis, Murdoch University.

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Ethnic and other cultural diversity has become something of an ideological holy of holies in Western societies. However, in spite of idealistic shibboleths surrounding the concept, academic literature broadly supports the contention that ethnocultural diversity is negatively correlated with public goods provision, political stability, economic growth and the like. As such, a broad reexamination of diversity’s inherent desirability is necessary. This paper takes a two-pronged approach by conducting a critical review of relevant literature, and cross-referencing it with the case study of Nigeria. Whilst multicultural “settler societies” such as the USA or Canada boast a number of fundamental differences to postcolonial, “primordially” diverse societies such as Nigeria, the latter nonetheless offers a number of generalizable lessons which can be broadly applied to Western statecraft and policy making as well. Broadly speaking, an analysis of Nigeria provides considerable circumstantial evidence to support the academic consensus on ethnocultural diversity, and allows one to conceptually link big-picture, longitudinal studies with micro-level studies. At the same time, it provides considerable nuance to those broad conclusions, indicating that even though ethnocultural diversity is broadly correlated with lower levels of public goods provision, precise causes for this state of affairs tend to differ and diversity is far from the be-all, end-all of political instability, low levels of development and the like.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters by Coursework)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Sir Walter Murdoch School of Public Policy and International Affairs
Supervisor(s): Reilly, Benjamin
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