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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:A Moral Economy of Corruption in Africa?
Author:Olivier de Sardan, Jean-PierreISNI
Year:1999
Periodical:Journal of Modern African Studies
Volume:37
Issue:1
Period:March
Pages:25-52
Language:English
Geographic term:Africa
Subjects:corruption
Politics and Government
Economics and Trade
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/161467
Abstract:Beyond declarations of principle, the social mechanisms of corruption in Africa are scarcely explored, nor are its processes of legitimation seen from the actors' point of view. This is why this article uses the term 'moral economy', insisting on as subtle as possible a restitution of the value systems and cultural codes which permit a justification of corruption by those who practise it. The article starts with six general theses on corruption in Africa, which place it within a broader 'corruption complex', and emphasize its routine nature, the stigmatization of corruption despite the absence of effective sanctions, its apparent irreversibility, the absence of a correlation between extent of corruption and type of political regime, and its legitimacy in the eyes of its perpetrators. Then it shows corruption to be socially embedded in 'logics' of negotiation, gift-giving, solidarity networks, predatory authority and redistributive accumulation, and it subsequently considers the existence of two 'facilitators' - overmonetarization and shame - which cut across these logics and accentuate their effects. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum.
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