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Title: Examining public accountability and policy issues in emerging economies : a case study of the Federal Ministry of Transport, Nigeria
Author: Sulu-Gambari, Waziri
ISNI:       0000 0004 5367 4957
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2014
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Although public accountability first became an issue in the 1980s, little has changed over the three decades since. In particular there have been calls for more public accountability research in the context of emerging economies (Uddin and Tsamenyi, 2005; Kim, 2009; Guthrie and Parker, 2012). This thesis responds by using a case study of the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Transport to examine public accountability issues in depth. It addresses the following research questions: What are the current Nigerian accountability structures and how should they work? What is the difference between what should happen (i.e. the structures) and what is happening (practices)? Why have public accountability reforms been difficult to implement effectively?This study uses a critical accounting and case study approach. Evidence was gathered using a triangulation approach, and included: interviews, documents, newspapers, speeches, photographs and observation in a number of contexts. For the analysis, this study develops a unique theoretical approach which applies New Institutional Theory (NIT) (paying particular attention to decoupling and coercive isomorphism), within broader Political Economy Theory (PET) and drawing on notions of imperialism. This study finds that Nigeria has in place formalised structures that should ensure public accountability, but there are state norms which render these structures ineffective. Hence, formalised structures do not work as intended. Based on NIT and imperialism, this study finds that the role of the state within Nigeria and the nature of relationship with external financial institutions produce coercion which is not as strong as NIT advocates, consequently, this is labelled subtle coercion. Because coercion is subtle, the state is able to resist. Furthermore, this study finds that decoupling can be understood from the cultural perspective. Moreover, based on PET and decoupling, it finds political interference to be a major issue and politicians are not genuinely interested in pursuing accountability reforms. This study contributes new and in-depth evidence to the growing body of literature about public accountability in emerging economies. Until now, no study has used the concept of imperialism to extend NIT in public accountability research. Predominantly, this study extends our knowledge of NIT and serves as a base for further studies on subtle coercion. Finally, this study informs policy makers by increasing their understanding of why transferring accountability policies from advanced nations to Nigeria and similar emerging economies may prove problematic.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available