The Political Economy of State Violations of Youth Rights in Nigeria (1999 – 2019)

Olubankole Daniel Olulana


This paper is a qualitative research that adopts a theoretical approach which entails the particular application of the political economy theoretical framework to the study of the nature and character of state violations of youth rights in Nigeria (1999 – 2019). The document method is explored for data collection useful for the analytical investigation of the topic of study.  The objective of this study is to demonstrate how an explanation of the nature and character of state violations of the Nigerian state with the aid of the political economy theoretical framework may prove effective to obtaining an adequate understanding of the nature and character of state violations of youth rights in Nigeria, filling the gap left off by several relevant studies that contend that such state violations may be safely discontinued, and systematically evolving possible recommendations that may be proffered. This study systematically distills an understanding of the problematique of such state violations persisting in spite of the noteworthy exertion of influence flowing from relevant human rights actors and mechanisms – and the visible impact recorded – to cause the state to conform to a behavioural construct that approximates state protection of youth rights without a record of such state violations. The international political economy context in which the peripheral postcolonial Nigerian state finds itself and its implications for state violations of youth rights is explained. The study goes further to systematically point out the compromise that the Dominant Class is forced to make for the perpetuity of the dominance of their hegemonic interest without which the escalation of the aggression of the youth arising from frustration with their material conditions may negatively affect their interest. To this end, the Dominant Class then evolves a measure of economic and social development that to some reasonable level protects the rights and welfare of the youth – as demonstrated in developed nations of the global North and the world. The findings of this study point out that state violations may persist, in spite of the impact of human rights actors and mechanisms, due to the conflict of interest that arises between the Dominant who typically wield state power and the Masses Class who do not. The study recommends that the Nigerian state may well have to adopt this observably time-tested pattern in political and social life to avert an otherwise impending catastrophe. The Nigerian youth and empathetic civic organisations are urged to undertake and maintain vibrant civic action that elicit social pressure sufficient to keep the Dominant Class on its toes to make this compromise and make it more qualitative and lasting as the various social epochs of unfolding human history may necessitate.

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