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Government Bias in Communal Conflicts: A Motive Analysis of the Anti-Open Grazing Law in Benue State, Nigeria
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Government.
2019 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This study investigates the presence of government bias in communal conflicts where the conflicting groups are formed along different identity groups in Benue State, Nigeria. It does so by analysing the motives behind the anti-grazing law that was implemented in 2017 by the state governor after ongoing conflict between herders and farmers in the state. The law prohibits the herders to graze their cattle in the state, which has led to a big debate on the intensions of the law, and whether it is discriminatory towards the herders or not. The theory is inspired by previous studies on government bias, and is based on a rationalist approach. It states that the strategic interests and the relationships the government has with the conflicting actors can lead to government bias. The study hypothesises that there is government bias in Benue State, which is displayed in the state governor’s decision-making. The material is mainly based on news articles, and is complemented with reports on Benue State. To analyse the material, the method used was a motive analysis. Motive indicators were identified, and the possible motives behind the law were evaluated together with the actions performed by the state governor. This analysis showed that peace and ending of killings by herdsmen, security for the people, well-being of the people, andself-interest are the motives that are most likely to be behind the implementation of the law. The results thus confirm the hypothesis, and show that government bias is present in Benue State, which is demonstrated by the governor’s actions. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. , p. 30
Keywords [en]
Communal conflicts, government bias, Nigeria, motive analysis, herdsmen-farmer conflicts
National Category
Globalisation Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-384008OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-384008DiVA, id: diva2:1318487
Subject / course
Development Studies
Educational program
Freestanding course
Supervisors
Available from: 2019-06-03 Created: 2019-05-27 Last updated: 2019-06-03Bibliographically approved

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  • nn-NB
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Output format
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