impact OF VIOLENT CONFLICT IN THE PROCESS OF DEMOCRATIZATION
IMPACT OF VIOLENT CONFLICT IN THE PROCESS OF DEMOCRATIZATION
Background to the Study
In social science, no term has a single definition since there are convergent perspectives of concepts, i.e., various scholars view concepts based on their own idioceny.
As a result, it is critical to define the basic words that will help us better grasp this research study. Democracy and democratisation have distinct meanings.
Democracy is a form of government in which people exercise governing authority directly or through elected representatives who are elected by themselves on a regular basis (Appadorai A, 1972).
This means that in political science, a state is considered a democracy if it provides mechanisms for the expression and, ultimately, the domination of public will on issues of social direction and policy.
Other qualities, such as economics, equality, fraternal sentiment, and the state's small size, are long-lasting and contribute to its success; democracy is the optimum, while political liberty is the necessary minimum.
Democracy is by far the most widely used type of government in the world today. There is hardly no leader or administration that does not want to be referred to as democratic.
According to the above definition, democracy is a political system that seeks and ensures the participation of all citizens in decision making and the management of the country's affairs.
Many parts of modern democracy are thought to have originated in ancient Greece, specifically the city of Athens. Indeed, the name ‘democracy' is derived from two Greek words: ‘demos', which means the people, and ‘Kratein', which means ‘rule of or by'; so, the phrase democracy literally means ‘government by the people'.
In addition to its Greek roots, contemporary democracy is thought to have evolved from mediaeval institutions such as the British parliament and the jury, as well as seventeenth-century political doctrines such as men's equality, natural rights, and sovereignty.
After understanding what democracy includes, it is critical to comprehend what democratisation means, which is the focus of this research study. Democratisation refers to the process by which a country fully adopts democratic principles. It could also be seen as a strong adherence to democratic principles.
There is little agreement among political scientists about how that process unfolds, including the criteria for judging whether or not democratisation has occurred. Many countries have embraced democratic political systems, only to see them fall in a military coup or other insurrection, resulting in authoritarian rule.
Typically, a country does not consider democracy to be fully established until at least three national elections have taken place. Many analysts have also emphasised the importance of a peaceful transition of power to opposition parties.
Such a transition is crucial because it implies that the country's major political forces are willing to settle their differences without resorting to violence and accept that they will all be out of office for a period of time. As a result, democratisation is fundamentally defined as stringent adherence to democratic governance provisions.
Large violent conflicts occur frequently in poor and developing countries. While there is some debate about the causes of conflict, most studies point to high risks of ignorance associated with poverty,
weak state structures, poor governance, natural resource dependence, and horizontal inequality (inequality between politically relevant groups such as religious or ethnic groups).
It is crucial to highlight that conflict causes significant hardship. The post-election crisis of 2011 caused significant suffering for the residents of Jema'a Local Government Area since the market was burned down, and there was inflation in the cost of products and food items in the area.
According to Jacob S. (1984), violent conflict occurs when two or more parties use physical force to resolve competing claims or interests. Violent conflict can occur between individuals or groups that are not linked with the government,
but the term is most usually used to describe war. A violent conflict, whatever of its intensity, typically involves more than just confrontation.
1.2 Statement of the research problem
Democracy is the world's most popular and accepted type of government because it allows everyone to know about and contribute to the governance of their own affairs. However, Nigerian democracy is a parody of the ideal democracy due to post-election violence that has claimed many people's lives and property. Jema'a Local Government has seen multiple crises, the most of them have been violent in nature.
The most recent being the 2011 post-election conflict in local government, which involved Muslims and Christians. This crisis resulted in the loss of properties worth billions of Nairas, as well as the lives of innocent persons in the local government. This has resulted in an ongoing hostility between Christians and Muslims in the local administration.
Up to this day, there have been reports of political attacks on municipal governments. All of these post-election crises and attacks violate democratic principles and have harmed the democratisation process of both local governments and the nation as a whole.
All of these problems and other election malpractices are not encouraged by democracy since they violate its principles and can quickly harm the image of the local government and the country as a whole.
1.3 Definition of Terms
Violent conflict: There is no single definition of conflict because researchers have differing perspectives on the subject. According to Smith (2000), conflict is defined as a battle or dispute between persons who have competing needs,
ideas, views, values, or goals. According to the definition provided above, violent conflict is a fight to meet the conflicting wants of individuals in society.
Democracy: As previously established, no concept has an accepted definition in social science. So, for the sake of this research study, democracy can be defined as a political system founded on the agreement of the ruled.
That is, the wants and aspirations of citizens guide the actions of rulers who are periodically elected to represent the public. However, it is important to clarify that democracy is defined as direct or indirect, meaning through elected representatives.
Democratisation is the rigid application of democratic principles in a specific political unit. These tenets include free and fair elections held on a regular basis, freedom of speech, the presence of a constitution, and fundamental human rights.
Religious activities and political leaders sparked violent strife in the Jema'a Local Government Area.
1.5 Objectives of the Study
1. Evaluate democratic practices in the Jema'a Local Government Area.
2. To examine the impact of violent conflict on the democratisation process in the Jema'a Local Government region and the country as a whole.
3. To learn more about the administration's response to violent conflict in local government, particularly the 2011 post-election crisis.
4. To analyse how the residents of Jema'a Local Government feel about violent conflict driven by politics, particularly the recent attacks in various communities.
1.6 Research Questions.
1. How has the government addressed the issue of violent conflict, particularly the 2011 post-election crisis in Jema'a Local Government Area?
2. What are the reasons of violent conflict in the Jema'a Local Government Area, and how can it be resolved?
3. How has violent conflict impacted the process of democratisation in the Jema'a Local Government Area?
4. Has democracy improved and facilitated network growth in the Jema'a Local Government Area during this period of conflict?
1.7 Significance of the Study
This study on the topic (The Impact of Violent Conflict in the Process of Democrasization: A Case Study of Jema'a Local Government 1999 – 2011) aims to examine the effects of violent conflict in the process of democratisation as well as to provide a path forward or solutions to this phenomenon, which is unavoidable in all human societies but can be controlled.
The study is necessary because it will educate the inhabitants of Jema'a on the harmful effects of the situation. Furthermore, the study will look into relevant measures to strengthen the practice of democracy, which is a channel of equal growth and development for any political body because it is based on the agreement of the ruled.
1.8 The scope of the study.
This research aims to analyse the long-term influence of violent conflict on the democratisation process. It will be difficult to broaden the scope of this investigation beyond the Jema'a Local Government Area.
The local government consists of 12 electoral wards and a number of pulling units or centres. This study will therefore be limited to the thirteen wards in the local government because it cannot encompass a full analysis of all local government districts in the country as a whole.
1.9 Research Methodology.
I intend to use or use the quantitative method of data analysis. The primary source of data for this research will be a questionnaire distributed randomly to specified targeted groups in the local government region. A total of 60 questionnaires will be distributed, with 5 respondents from each of the thirteen wards in the local government.
As a result, this study will use a systematic random sampling procedure to choose participants. The systematic random sampling approach selects every nth element or individual from the target population.
The ninth factor represents or denotes the respondent's intention to be included in the sampling in a sequential manner, hence the word systematic.
The size and population of the wards in the local government under consideration will be sufficient to yield the needed number of respondents, as expected by this work. The target populations are diverse in terms of age, gender, occupation,
and socioeconomic status. As a result, meticulous steps would be made to ensure a fair representation of the entire population. In other words, in order to provide a decent representation of the total population, a careful sample of the targeted groups will be selected, which will include sex, age, profession class, and other factors.
The data will be presented and analysed depending on respondents' socio-demographic characteristics. The data will be provided in a table format, with the frequency distribution of respondents depending on occupation, gender, age,
educational achievement, and mental status. Each respondent distribution will be presented as a single bar chart. The secondary data will be gathered from journals, magazines, public publications, newspapers, the internet, and unpublished books, among other sources.