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The Inevitability of Instability


Political instability upsets particularly those observers whose own countries have had no experience of it for many generations. They often exaggerate its effect on social and economic life and expect the activities of society practically to cease, where governments topple. But, beyond this miscalculation of effects, observers sometimes conclude that governmental instability in the developing countries reflects some human inferiority of their peoples. Unfortunately this kind of belief also tends to take root among literate opinion-makers in the developing countries, who often are no better than outsiders in interpreting the complexities of their own situation. In this development there are dangers of damage to political and social morale which could be much more serious than temporary phases of internal economic disruption and foreign disinvestment. What in fact are the reasons for the fall of governments in post-colonial Africa?

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B. J. Dudley , ‘Traditionalism and Politics: a case study of Northern Nigeria,’ in Government and Opposition (London), 071967.

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The Journal of Modern African Studies
  • ISSN: 0022-278X
  • EISSN: 1469-7777
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-modern-african-studies
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