The national question and citizenship-deficit: South Africa and Nigeria

SOURCE: State of the Nation 2014: South Africa 1994-2014: a twenty-year review
OUTPUT TYPE: Chapter in Monograph
TITLE AUTHOR(S): G.Onuoha, N.Pophiwa
SOURCE EDITOR(S): T.Meyiwa, M.Nkondo, M.Chitiga-Mabugu, M.Sithole, F.Nyamnjoh
DEPARTMENT: Developmental, Capable and Ethical State (DCES)
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 8330
HANDLE: 20.500.11910/2282

If you would like to obtain a copy of this Research Output, please contact Hanlie Baudin at


The first part of this chapter clarifies the conceptual lenses used and provides an analysis of the interface between the national questions and citizenship-deficit in the nation-state project in Africa. This analysis serves as a conceptual backdrop to the next part, which engages with comparative experiences in South Africa and Nigeria, and how to deficit in the citizen-state bargain has fuelled contradictions and paradoxes in both concerns. The third part explores comparative experiences of efforts at inclusion and national cohesion, and their limitations and challenges in both countries. This is followed by an examination of the contrasting responses to the national question and citizenship-deficit as core features of both polities. In the concluding section, these critical reflections are summarised and conclusions are drawn on what this portends for the future of the nation-state project in Africa.