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Title: Frontiers of urban survival : everyday corruption and precarious existence in Lagos
Author: Agbiboa, Daniel Egiegba
ISNI:       0000 0004 6421 7348
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2016
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The vast corpus of works on corruption in Africa focuses almost exclusively on 'grand corruption' and political elites (so-called 'Big Men'), and hardly on 'everyday corruption' and ordinary actors. When everyday corruption appears in the literature, it is frequently explained away as petty and/or normal - something expected and accepted. In this study, I take issue with this predominant narrative, couched in an equally dominant but narrow Weberian notion of corruption. Grounding corruption in the micro-politics of urban public transport in Lagos, Nigeria's commercial capital and Africa's largest city, I argue that ordinary actors detest the corruption that they encounter daily. At the same time, their power(lessness) in the face of its banality compels them to constantly devise tactics to find a way around it or to make it productive for their ends. Structured into six chapters, the study begins by probing the popular imagination, discourse, and spatiality of corruption. It then shows how corruption is embedded in routine socio-economic relations, how it conditions ordinary lives and social livelihoods, and how everyday actors encounter it, exploit it, resist it, or become its victims each day. The study required eight months of ethnographic fieldwork grounded on the routine experiences and lifeworlds of road transport workers in Lagos, Nigeria. My direct experience of the 'surrounds' of these urban actors, the 'junctions' that constitute the spatial hinge of violent extortion and complicity, and routine participation in the omnipresent 'danfos' (commercial minibus-taxis) enabled access to a sense of how this complex system works.
Supervisor: Mustapha, Abdul Raufu Sponsor: Oxford Department of International Development
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Corruption--Nigeria ; Urbanization--Nigeria--Lagos ; Lagos (Nigeria)--Social conditions