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Big men and the big pot at the centre: patronage politics and democracy in Nigeria

Hoffmann, Leena Koni (2012)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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Abstract

This thesis explores the historical background of patronage politics in Nigeria by examining its evolution during key periods of the country's political development. It investigates how contemporary relations and structures of power are constructed and maintained by exploring a range of political practices, social identities and economic conditions that evidence a continuity and interconnectedness with Nigeria's precolonial and colonial past. By examining five biographies of contemporary political patrons, this thesis shows how politicians and political entrepreneurs legitimate their actions and goals in the political sphere. This process of legitimating political power takes place through a range of strategies that, first, draw on varied social, cultural and historical repertoires; second, are contingent on social settings, political traditions and cultures; and finally, are designed to construct specific social and political meanings.
The central argument presented here is that we cannot fully understand how political patrons and their networks operate unless we understand the varied local contexts and political histories that structure relations of power across Nigeria. This thesis is germane because it investigates how the state penetrates different societal structures as well as how local political networks are integrated into central power.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Nolte, Insa
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
Department:School of Historical Studies
Subjects:DT Africa
JF Political institutions (General)
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:3418
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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