• Moral Economies of Corruption: State Formation and Political Culture in Nigeria

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    Pages: 304
    Illustrations: 4 illustrations
    Sales/Territorial Rights: World
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  • Acknowledgments  ix

    Introduction: Corruption Discourse and the Performance of Politics  1

    Part I. From Caliphate to Federal Republic

    1. A Tale of Two Emirs: Colonialism and Bureaucratizing Emirates, 1900–1948  27

    2. The Political Time: Ethnicity and Violence, 1948–1970  63

    3. Oil and the "Army Arrangement": Corruption and the Petro-State, 1970–1999  105

    Part II. Corruption, Nigeria, and the Moral Imagination

    4. Moral Economies of Corruption  153

    5. Nigerian Corruption and the Limits of the State  188

    Conclusion  219

    Notes  231

    Bibliography  257

    Index  277
  • "Pierce constantly offers unique ways of looking at the stereotypes and assumptions westerners have about Nigerian corruption."

    "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."

    "[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."

    "The strength of Pierce’s book is the depth of its historical excavation and the synchronization of relevant data on the diverse forms of corruption across Nigeria’s multitudinous ethnicities at different periods in the country’s over one hundred years of statehood."

    Reviews

  • "Pierce constantly offers unique ways of looking at the stereotypes and assumptions westerners have about Nigerian corruption."

    "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."

    "[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."

    "The strength of Pierce’s book is the depth of its historical excavation and the synchronization of relevant data on the diverse forms of corruption across Nigeria’s multitudinous ethnicities at different periods in the country’s over one hundred years of statehood."

  • "In this superb book Steven Pierce takes us to the ur-capital of imagined corruption in Africa. Challenging conventional understandings of the term corruption, Pierce embeds the practice in the political, colonial, and cultural history of northern Nigeria and provides a historical analysis of the term, showing how it traveled to new contexts, assumed new meanings, and slid into an array of other terms and practices. Moral Economies of Corruption is a brilliant contribution to the timeliest of topics in African studies today."  — Charles Piot, author of, Nostalgia for the Future: West Africa after the Cold War

    "Steven Pierce has written an illuminating and path-breaking work on the nexus of corruption and statecraft in Nigeria. The comparative implications of Pierce's analysis are boundless and will no doubt enrich theoretical- and policy-oriented discussions on corruption across disciplinary and geographical fields. Moral Economies of Corruption is a significant and iconoclastic addition to the growing scholarly literature on corruption, malfeasance, and vice." — Moses E. Ochonu, author of, Africa in Fragments: Essays on Nigeria, Africa, and Global Africanity

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  • Description

    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.
     
     

    About The Author(s)

    Steven Pierce is Senior Lecturer in Modern African History at the University of Manchester. He is the coeditor of Discipline and the Other Body: Correction, Corporeality, Colonialism, also published by Duke University Press, and the author of Farmers and the State in Colonial Kano: Land Tenure and the Legal Imagination.
     
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