Date of Award


Degree Type


University or Center

Atlanta University (AU)

Degree Name



Political Science

First Advisor

Prefessor Rober A. Holmes


This study centers around Nigeria-United States relations with respect to their perspectives on political change in Africa. It is premised on the assumption that international politics is generally a mix of conflictual and cooperative relationships. It is in this context that the study examines Nigeria-United States perspectives, and the positions taken by both countries on the issue of political change in Africa, using Angola, Zimbabwe, Namibia and South Africa as case studies.

The study shows that, at the level of diplomatic rhetoric, there seems to be a shared perspective on political change between Nigeria and the United States. However, underneath this shared perspective lie a host of disagreements and differences. Of critical significance are the differences in the interpretation of political change and the motivations behind both countries' policy in Southern Africa.

Nigeria favors radical change, while the United States favors gradual change. Furthermore, there is evidence to suggest that Nigeria is motivated by its commitment to the cause of African emancipation, while the United States is largely motivated by its varied economic and strategic interests in the region. These differences, however, have not made cooperation between both countries in other areas impossible.

The conclusion suggests that, on the whole, Nigeria-United States relations during the period under study have been marked by disagreements and cooperation. Relations between the two countries were decidedly cool at times, cordial at other times and uneasy in the Reagan years.