Journal of Social Development in Africa

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Conflict generation, conflict management and self-organizing capabilities in drought-prone rural communities in north-eastern Nigeria: A case study

OC Fiki, Bill Lee


This article presents a qualitative study of conflict over crucial resources in drought-prone rural communities in north-eastern Nigeria and shows how these conflicts are mitigated to sustain social order. The article argues that, at a time of increased agitation for local control, this study of conflict generation and conflict management presents a model for understanding governance practices and capacity at local levels and shows how they cohere to sustain the community. The article further argues that the nature of the community must be taken into consideration in local social development in order to reduce the inherent dissonance between policy prescription and the reality of the local communities in Nigeria and, indeed, in Africa as a whole. Specifically, the article extends the literature on conflict management within the framework of governance and social development for understanding self-direction, self-organizing capabilities, community safety and local capacity in rural communities.
Key words: conflict generation and management, drought and water use, self-organizing capabilities, rural communities, governance and social development, community safety and development
Journal of Social Development in Africa Vol.19(2) 2004: 25-48
AJOL African Journals Online