A Culture of Corruption: Everyday Deception and Popular Discontent in Nigeria

Princeton University Press, 2007 - 263 páginas

E-mails proposing an urgent business relationship help make fraud Nigeria's largest source of foreign revenue after oil. But scams are also a central part of Nigeria's domestic cultural landscape. Corruption is so widespread in Nigeria that its citizens call it simply the Nigerian factor. Willing or unwilling participants in corruption at every turn, Nigerians are deeply ambivalent about it--resigning themselves to it, justifying it, or complaining about it. They are painfully aware of the damage corruption does to their country and see themselves as their own worst enemies, but they have been unable to stop it. A Culture of Corruption is a profound and sympathetic attempt to understand the dilemmas average Nigerians face every day as they try to get ahead--or just survive--in a society riddled with corruption.

Drawing on firsthand experience, Daniel Jordan Smith paints a vivid portrait of Nigerian corruption--of nationwide fuel shortages in Africa's oil-producing giant, Internet cafés where the young launch their e-mail scams, checkpoints where drivers must bribe police, bogus organizations that siphon development aid, and houses painted with the fraud-preventive words not for sale. This is a country where 419--the number of an antifraud statute--has become an inescapable part of the culture, and so universal as a metaphor for deception that even a betrayed lover can say, He played me 419. It is impossible to comprehend Nigeria today--from vigilantism and resurgent ethnic nationalism to rising Pentecostalism and accusations of witchcraft and cannibalism--without understanding the role played by corruption and popular reactions to it.


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Crítica de los usuarios - Marcar como inadecuado

This is a "must read" for anyone planning on working or spending a significant amount of time in West Africa. It is an insightful, well written account of how business is conducted in this part of the world. Professor Smith was awarded the the Margret Meade award in anthropology for the work.  

Crítica de los usuarios - Marcar como inadecuado

"A culture of corruption" is to me a very apt description of the state of corruption in Nigeria today but also it gives credence to my believe in how it should be tackled. In my blog article "Nigeria: Corruption perception index" (see www.southelevation.com) I have strongly suggested that the only way to tackle the corruption in Nigeria is by the collective will of majority of the people of the country. That is the only way.
Corruption, though it, started innocently but has grown into a firm culture and only a great will on the part of office holders and the public can defeat it. Mr. Smith is right. Those who complain about corruption are only doing so because they are not in position of authority mostly. By and by when they get into a position of authority they soon fall prey to the pressure and are corrupted or threathened in submission to the status quo. Only a few can survive this onslaught. A strong will and a mass motivation of the public not unlike in a charged political campaign is what is needed to sheft the trend. And here I wait for that to happen.
St Eugene (not real name)
Author of The South Elevation


Urgent Business Relationship Nigerian EMail Scams
From Favoritism to 419 Corruption in Everyday Life
Development Scams Donors Dollars and NGO Entrepreneurs
Fair Play Even among Robbers Democracy Politics and Corruption
Rumors Riots and Diabolical Rituals
They Became the Criminals They Were Supposed to Fight Crime Corruption and Vigilante Justice
Anticorruption Aspirations Biafrans and Bornagain Christians
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Página 16 - Corruption is behavior which deviates from the formal duties of a public role because of the private-regarding (personal, close family, private clique) pecuniary or status gains...
Página xix - This project would not have been possible without financial support from a number of sources, including the New South Wales Law Foundation Scholarship Support Fund, the Netherlands Antarctic Programme (NAAP).

Acerca del autor (2007)

Daniel Jordan Smith is associate professor of anthropology at Brown University. He has worked in Nigeria since the late 1980s, first as a public health adviser with a nongovernmental organization and later as an anthropologist.

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