Moral Economies of Corruption is an important intervention, and Steven Pierce provides an alternative way of viewing the long history of anticorruption programs in Nigeria. As Michael J. Watts' contribution discusses, there are a number of dangers that lurk in the discursive and performative orientation of the book. Sometimes the shifting character of what constitutes corruption produces less a systematic account of corruption than a history of shifting political cultures (much of which has, of course, been covered in a variety of ways by scholars of Nigeria). But if the purpose is to see the work that corruption undertakes, then it would also require a careful and granular accounting of the shifting pacts, coalitions, and political cartels linking the business world, the security forces, and the vast fiscal federalism composed of thirty-six states and seven-hundred-odd local government councils covering the last seven decades. The political settlements that have arisen through different conjunctures and across the turbulent history of oil busts and booms need to be clearly explicated if both state effects and the political work of corruption claims are to be fully realized.

You do not currently have access to this content.