Nigeria is famous for "419" e-mails asking recipients for bank account information and for scandals involving the disappearance of billions of dollars from government coffers. Corruption permeates even minor official interactions, from traffic control to university admissions. In Moral Economies of Corruption Steven Pierce provides a cultural history of the last 150 years of corruption in Nigeria as a case study for considering how corruption plays an important role in the processes of political change in all states. He suggests that corruption is best understood in Nigeria, as well as in all other nations, as a culturally contingent set of political discourses and historically embedded practices. The best solution to combatting Nigerian government corruption, Pierce contends, is not through attempts to prevent officials from diverting public revenue to self-interested ends, but to ask how public ends can be served by accommodating Nigeria's history of patronage as a fundamental political principle.
Publisher: Duke University Press
Number of pages: 304
Weight: 544 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 20 mm
"Moral Economies of Corruption is not only rich history, but also a theoretically insightful analysis that has much to offer beyond its particularism. Scholars interested in corruption in other parts of Africa, and in other regions of the world, will find much to ponder and appreciate." -- Daniel Jordan Smith * American Ethnologist *
"[T]his is a superb and path-breaking book. Through meticulous attention to detail, it builds an argument that is as important as it is compelling. And, ironically, it is by refusing to compromise on historical and cultural specificity that it makes its most important contribution to understanding and engaging critically and constructively with a global discourse." -- Kate Hampshire * Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute *