Philosophical Expositions of Leadership and Human Values in Catholic Social Teachings: Resolving Nigeria’s Leadership Deficit and Underdevelopment


In spite of Nigeria’s vaunted claims to leadership of the African continent and the entire black race, the country tragically suffers from an enduring self leadership deficit that has had a negative impact on its development. The masses of the people had been alienated by the ruling class from governance and a lot of ethnic groups had been marginalized and excluded from participating in democratic power. This has manifested in different typologies of conflicts and systemic failure which had served to undermine development planning since the country’s independence. This paper explores some existing but unexplored linkages, immediate and mediate, between Catholic Social Teachings and some particular school of leadership, human values and conflict resolution frameworks, which could, in the future, generate sustainable solutions to the problems of the Nigerian leadership and development challenge in the twenty first century. After a brief survey of community participatory leadership and interactive leadership theories under the framework of transformational leadership concept, we will look at the critical recurring components in community participatory leadership, the five human values, and conflict resolution theories as contained in the Catholic Social Teachings. Our examination of Catholic Social Teachings will be drawn primarily from the social encyclicals beginning with Pope Leo XIII’s Rerum nova rum and continuing through the social encyclicals of Pope John Paul II. These critical recurring components we have noted include: 1) a transforming vision; 2) community participation in decision-making; 3) power; 4) affirmation of others’ human values such as need for truth, integrity, love, peace, non-violence, worth, or dignity; and 5) conflict resolution. The paper argues effectively that human value concepts are reflected in both the frameworks of transformative leadership, a fundamental content of the catholic social teachings, seen as a veritable answer to the problems of leadership in Nigeria. The article will use analytical and dialectical expositions to explore these theoretical linkages and draw enduring lessons for Nigeria.

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Casimir, A. , Nkechinyere, O. , Ugwu, R. & Okpara, M. (2013). Philosophical Expositions of Leadership and Human Values in Catholic Social Teachings: Resolving Nigeria’s Leadership Deficit and Underdevelopment. Open Journal of Philosophy, 3, 391-400. doi: 10.4236/ojpp.2013.33059.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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