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Daily life in Africa is governed by the 'petty' corruption of public officials in services such as health, transport, or the judicial system. This remarkable study of everyday corruption in three African countries investigates the reasons for its extraordinary prevalence.
The authors construct an illuminating analytical framework around the various forms of corruption, the corruptive strategies public officials resort to, and how these forms and strategies have become embedded in daily administrative practices. They investigate the roots of the system in the growing inability of weakened states in Africa to either reward their employees adequately or to deliver expected services. They conclude that corruption in Africa today is qualitatively different from other parts of the world in its pervasiveness, its legitimations, and its huge impact on the nature of the state.
Dr Giorgio Blundo is at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Science Sociales at Marseille. Jean-Pierre Olivier de Sardan is professor of anthropology at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales and directs research at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in Paris. He is the author of Anthropology and Development (Zed Books, 2005).