Democratic Institutions and Good Governance in Nigeria: Lessons from Costa Rica

Sakpere, Oyovwevotu Randy


Friedrich Nietzsche stated that formidable democratic institutions form system of quarantine for tyrannical desires. Democratic institutions therefore, enhance the quality of democracy, citizen’s empowerment, and economic development in a country. The paper evaluates the role of democratic institutions in influencing democratic stability, governance quality and economic development in Nigeria and Costa Rica. Interviews were conducted between 2014 and 2015 with executive and legislative class, judicial officials, INEC Staff and senior police personnel in Nigeria. The paper also adopted the historical research method to analyse secondary data on how democratic institutions contributed towards democratic sustainability, good governance and economic development in the two countries. The results showed that efficient and effective democratic institutions in Costa Rica are strongly associated with democratic stability in that country, while democratic institutions in Nigeria are very weak and fragile and are often unable to protect and promote sustainable democracy. The results also showed that establishment of strong and autonomous democratic institutions laid the institutional foundations for policy effectiveness and economic development in Costa Rica; while the fragile and non-autonomous democratic institutions continue to hinder economic development in Nigeria. The study concluded that strong and effective democratic institutions/systems have proven to be resilient and effective antidote to democratic stability, good governance, and economic development.

Keywords: Governance, Democratic Institutions, Economic Development, Democratic stability,

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ISSN (Paper)2224-5731 ISSN (Online)2225-0972

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