Gulliver's Troubles: Nigeria's Foreign Policy after the Cold War / Terry M. Mays

The African Book Publishing Record, Vol. XXXV, 2009, no.3, p.219

Gulliver's Troubles: Nigeria's Foreign Policy after the Cold War, Adekeye Adebajo and Abdul Raufu Mustapha, eds.Scottsville, South Africa: University of KwaZulu Natal Press, 2008, 428pp. R240/£28.95 pap. ISBN 9781869141486, [International Specialised Book Serv. & Eurospan Group]

Adekeye Adebajo and Abdul Raufu Mustapha have produced a timely and much needed edited volume examining Nigerian foreign policy in the post-Cold War era. The project, initiated in 2003 and completed with this book in 2008, examines Nigerian foreign policy during the first 10+ years after the end of the Cold War in order to answer questions associated with changes in the global arena and determines whether Nigerian foreign policy remains relevant in this new period of international relations. The authors assembled for this project include a mixture of international academics and former members of the Nigerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, including one foreign minister, as well as ambassadors and others who held high level positions within the ministry. The chapters within the book are divided into five sections: introduction; background and domestic context of Nigerian foreign policy; the regional context of Nigerian foreign policy; the external (non-African) context of Nigerian foreign policy; and a conclusion.

Adebajo's introductory chapter sets the theme for the book and is followed by two essays providing a background to Nigeria's foreign policy and written by Mustapha and former Nigerian Foreign Minister Ibrahim Gambari. The chapters on foreign policy and domestic context review the Nigerian foreign service and domestic issues (the military, ethnic militias, and oil) impacting Nigerian foreign policy. Essays on the regional context of Nigerian foreign policy include studies on the state's neighbors, West African economic integration, Nigeria's military interventions in Liberia and Sierra Leone, and the African Union and its associated bodies. Issues from beyond the African continent include Nigerian relations with major international organizations, the United Kingdom, the United States, France, and China. Mustapha provides concluding comments on the challenges facing Nigerian foreign policy in the post-Cold War era.

The book provides a well structured review of a fairly large topic. Keeping the various chapters of an edited volume in tune with the overall theme can be a challenge but Adebajo and Mustapha have managed to tightly corral most of the chapters into the theme. The one minor weakness in the book is the tendency of some chapter authors to spend more time providing foreign policy options of other states toward Nigeria rather than reviewing the interests and recommendations for Lagos in its policies toward those countries as the book's theme outlines. However, this is a minor distraction as the editors have assembled an admirable collection of essays that collectively provide a solid overview of Nigeria's foreign policy concerns in the post-Cold War world. The mix of former Nigerian diplomats and international academics adds strength to the book and offers an opportunity to hear from both those who practice and those who analyze foreign policy.

This book is highly recommended for any four-year college or university library and should be a priority acquisition for any library supporting a program related to Nigerian or African politics/international relations.

Terry M. Mays
The Citadel

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