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Title: The social context of business and the tax system in Nigeria : the persistence of corruption
Author: Oghenevo Ovie Akpomiemie, Michael
ISNI:       0000 0004 7224 3837
Awarding Body: London School of Economics and Political Science
Current Institution: London School of Economics and Political Science (University of London)
Date of Award: 2017
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This thesis examines the means by which corruption sustains itself in the relationship between business and the tax system. It is predicated on a desire to understand the possibility of sheltering the relationship from corruption and other similar societal challenges. It relies on the intuition that certain structural elements of this relationship permit the infiltration and sustenance of corruption. With the aid of both qualitative and quantitative data obtained from empirical research in Nigeria, it constructs a model that exposes these structural elements. This thesis argues that a ‘two-way relationship’ between businesses and the tax system not only exists but is anchored in the interaction between the actors (businesses, tax policymakers, tax law-makers, tax administrators and tax arbiters) that represent both institutions. It explores four mechanisms (‘access’, ‘awareness’, ‘distortion’ and ‘inaction’) that affect the interaction and consequently the relationship between business and the tax system. It also addresses the difficulty in defining corruption by adopting a process definition of this phenomenon. In this definition, the tag ‘corruption’ applies where an act or state of affairs and the gain derived therefrom breach the expectations of the legal, economic, political or moral dimension of a given society. This thesis then argues that corruption sustains itself in the two-way relationship by exploiting a ‘power gap’ between the actual and institutional powers of actors in the said relationship. It defines the ‘institutional power of actors’ as that which accords with the institutional limits of their social setting. An actor’s ‘actual power’, in contrast, refers to that which the actor may exercise in any given circumstance. This power gap is potentially increased or decreased by the levels of the four mechanisms in the relationship. Therefore, any real effort to tackle corruption in the relationship between businesses and the tax system must seek to address these four mechanisms in a manner that limits the power gap and opportunities for corruption. The concept of the power gap and its four mechanisms is a novel approach to understanding and tackling corruption. It aspires to support the design of tax systems with the capacity to adequately balance competing interests, especially in countries where corruption is endemic.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: K Law (General)