By Daniel Jordan Smith

E-mails presenting an "urgent enterprise relationship" help in making fraud Nigeria's biggest resource of overseas profit after oil. yet scams also are a critical a part of Nigeria's family cultural panorama. Corruption is so frequent in Nigeria that its electorate name it easily "the Nigerian factor." keen or unwilling individuals in corruption at each flip, Nigerians are deeply ambivalent approximately it--resigning themselves to it, justifying it, or complaining approximately it. they're painfully conscious of the wear corruption does to their nation and notice themselves as their very own worst enemies, yet they've been not able to forestall it. A tradition of Corruption is a profound and sympathetic try to comprehend the dilemmas ordinary Nigerians face on a daily basis as they fight to get ahead--or simply survive--in a society riddled with corruption.

Drawing on firsthand adventure, Daniel Jordan Smith paints a bright portrait of Nigerian corruption--of national gasoline shortages in Africa's oil-producing sizeable, net cafés the place the younger release their electronic mail scams, checkpoints the place drivers needs to bribe police, bogus organisations that siphon improvement reduction, and homes painted with the fraud-preventive phrases "not for sale." it is a kingdom the place "419"--the variety of an antifraud statute--has turn into an inescapable a part of the tradition, and so common as a metaphor for deception that even a betrayed lover can say, "He performed me 419." it's most unlikely to understand Nigeria today--from vigilantism and resurgent ethnic nationalism to emerging Pentecostalism and accusations of witchcraft and cannibalism--without figuring out the function performed by means of corruption and well known reactions to it.

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

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The contradictions of corruption both mirror and explain Nigerians' growing expectations and frustrated aspirations for democracy and development. Further, I contend that understanding corruption and its discontents is central to explaining and connecting a wide range of important contemporary social phenomena, such as resurgent ethnic nationalism, the rising popularity of horn-again Christianity, vio lent vigilantism, and a range of common yet seemingly bizarre fears and accusations regarding witchcraft, cannibalism, and other occult practices.

Implicit, and increasingly explicit, in the narratives of complaint about corruption is not only an awareness of a bureaucratic and democratic standard of accountability but a growing expectation that it be adopted and respected (Gore and Pratten 2003). FORMS OF CORRUPTION Defining corruption is difficult and has occupied a good deal of space in the social science literature, particularly in political science (Nye 1967; Heidenheimer 1970). Most political science definitions include or imply the existence of the state, and typically emphasize the misuse of public office for private gain.

From experience, Nigerians commonly believe that resources and opportunities of all kinds are awarded based, above all, on who you know. Levies and tolls are relatively stark forms of tribute that persons in posi tions of power can extract from ordinary citizens. For example, police who collect illegal tolls from motor vehicle drivers at roadside checkpoints, vigilante groups that demand a security levy from local businesses, or bureaucrats who require pensioners to pay money in order to receive their pensions fall into this category.

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