Civic Engagement in Nigeria: A New Sociopolitical Development Perspective

Sandra Ajaps, Adaobiagu Obiagu (Lead)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study proposed a reframing of Sociopolitical Development Theory (SDT) towards contextualising civic engagement (specifically political participation and human rights activism) in emerging democracies like Nigeria. The modified theory developed from the application of SDT lenses on the analysis of the influence of five sociodemographic factors on 372 participants’ civic engagement report. Results showed significant variations across groups – male participants and individuals who have higher education and income were more likely to participate in politics, while male participants and individuals who have higher income were more likely to engage in human rights activism. Human rights activism was also more likely to be engaged in by emerging adults and individuals with secondary education. Generally, based on the SDT, low sociopolitical awareness were found. Analyses of these patterns led to the contextualised SDT that better explained our findings. Using the modified SDT lenses, high sociopolitical awareness with low sociopolitical (civic) action were found, although variations across sociodemographic factors remained consistent with SDT. The implications of these results were discussed in terms of the importance of understanding the nuances of civic engagement in diverse democracies and the relevance of contextualising imported theories. Suggestions for increasing civic engagement towards stronger democracies were also advanced.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)128-147
JournalInternational Journal of Social Sciences and Educational Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 8 Mar 2022


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