The state and the securitization of civil society organzsations in Nigeria

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While debates on the effects of the post-9/11 counterterrorism measures (CTMs) on civil society organizations (CSOs) exist, there is a paucity of data on how CTMs are shaping the spaces and actors of CSOs in Nigeria. Using a mixed-methods design, this article analyzes CSOs’ perceptions on the effects of counterterrorism financing measures, the countermeasures that CSOs are taking, and the government’s views on the security threat posed by CSOs. The findings show that although counterterrorism financing were not as constraining, it appears to increase the administrative cost of CSOs and disadvantaged the less prominent CSOs forcing them to close down or merge with more prominent CSOs. Besides, the result shows the state’s increasing interest in the activities of CSOs on the grounds of national security imperatives. Thus, I argue CTMs are evolving, and thus CSOs will experience increased financial regulations. Also, CTMs expansion will threaten CSOs’ sustainability and polarize them.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly
Early online date7 Apr 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 7 Apr 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This publication was made possible by support from the Social Science Research Council’s Next Generation Social Sciences in Africa Fellowship, with funds provided by Carnegie Corporation of New York.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2021.


  • nonprofit
  • counter-terrorism financing
  • de-risking policy
  • securiitization
  • charities
  • closing of civic spaces
  • democratic recession
  • Boko Haram
  • Islamic State of West African Province
  • foreign aid
  • anti-money laundering and counter terrorism financing
  • closing of civic space

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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