Of recent one of the most trending political concepts within the Nigerian political and social landscape has been the concept of restructure or its continuum (restructuring). Ironically, despite the prevalence in usage of this word in social and political discourses across the country and beyond, very little is conceptualized or agreed on by all class of people as what is the actual meaning or the scope of restructuring the country needs. To some the term means minor adjustments in the configuration of power relation between the federal and other composing units of governments. The term in the view of others stands for maximum severance of all form of relationships between the federating units. This severance may mean the decentralization of powers and responsibilities of the state in favour of the regional governments as against the federal level, therefore relationship can only be acknowledged in the form of loosed confederation. But what seems to be agreed on by all, is that the Nigerian federal structure has some fundamental defects that need urgent corrections, the extent of which is left in the imagination and belief of the advocates. This paper provides an insight into conceptual clarity of what is meant by restructure and the act of restructuring. The article is of the view that structural imbalance in the polity is grossly responsible for the high level of mistrust, ethnic and religious crises, lack of accelerated development, political schisms and other social vices amongst the ethnic nationalities that makeup the country. The paper underscores the need for further dissolutions of political and economic autonomy to regions as against the current enormous power currently wielded by the federal government. It also recommends reversal to true fiscal federalism and regional control of the natural resources within their localities as against the current position of federal government ownership and control. Adoption of the six geopolitical zones as regional governments as against the current proliferation of unviable states. Also recommended is the adoption of rotational presidency among the regions. This is to be enshrined in the constitution to address the issue and cry of marginalization in the polity. These recommendations amongst others will serve as panacea to addressing the instability and mistrust question within the polity.
Keywords: Autonomy, Federalism, Nigeria, Regionalism, Restructure
The East Asian Cooperation Models under New Regionalism (Published)
Research on the regionalism in developed countries has been very mature, especially in terms of the study concerning European Integration Theory. Exploration on the topic of regionalism is mainly carried out from two different fields in international relations forum: international economics and international politics. For example, international economics put forward “the customs union theory”, “the optimal currency area theory” and “the fiscal federalism”; while the international politics proposed “the functionalism”, “the New functionalism”, “intergovernmentalism “,” liberal intergovernmental theory” and so on. In China, the real acceptance and use of the concept “regionalism” began at the end of the 20th century. The concept barely existed in the international political field in the early 1980s. Although Chinese scholars have long noticed “regional integration” or “area” problem. Many scholars have made the introduction and comment on European regional integration, but they didn’t notice the concept of “regionalism” as the relative concept of “regional integration” or “regionalization”. By the end of the cold war, with an in-depth understanding of European integration, the Chinese become an important force in regional integration in East Asia, with “regionalism” gradually attracting more attention. The thesis will start with some regionalism-related concepts, exploring the origin, the process and characteristics of new regionalism. I intend to use the process of regional cooperation in East Asia as a main line, and study the practice and the development of new regionalism in this area. In this thesis, I will analyze and summarize the development and historical evolution of the regionalism. Furthermore, I will analyze the diversity of mechanisms and arrangements in East Asian cooperation. Following that I will list the problems and obstacles that may hinder the process of the East Asian cooperation, and in view of these obstacles analyze some realistic choices for East Asia in the development process of new regionalism. I intended to start from the historical evolution of the regionalism theory, then I will look at the interdisciplinary research method. Next we focus on new regionalism’s influence on the East Asia cooperation and provide a fresh perspective based on the core values, essential characteristics, and basic connotation of new regionalism, and try to put forward the countermeasures China should take in response to this changing process.
Keywords: East Asia, New Regionalism, Regional Cooperation, Regionalism