Date of Award

11-2015

Document Type

Capstone-Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Program Name

National Security Studies

Capstone Instructor

Dr. Donna Kenley

Abstract

Boko Haram remains a destabilizing force in Nigeria and gains international attention because of its brutal terrorism. State efforts to defeat the group contribute to its capability and popular support. The author conducted qualitative research using grounded theory applied through a case study and data analysis that incorporated the examination of more than 400 terrorist groups. Research illuminated the importance of defining the goals and strategies of Boko Haram and chronicling past Nigerian state responses to accurately determine how it will most likely end defined by Seth Jones and Martin Libicki: politicization, policing, military force, or victory. Analysis of Boko Haram and the Nigerian state indicate that the group’s goals are regime change and social control, pursued through intimidation, provocation, and polarization. Findings conclude that Boko Haram’s terrorist activity likely end due to policing, which requires Nigerian security forces to become a legitimate force committed to rule of law and human rights, the ability of the Nigerian government to provide governmental support to its geographically isolated population, and the capture and prosecution of Boko Haram’s leadership.

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