Corruption fights back: localizing transparency and EITI in the Nigerian “penkelemes”

Amanze Ejiogu, Chibuzo Ejiogu, Ambisisi Ambituuni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study explores how the global transparency norm is localized in the Nigerian extractive industry. Transparency is theorized as a process which can be analyzed in terms of rules, interactions, power games, and context. Nigeria is conceptualized as a “penkelemes”—a concept which denotes how traditions, norms, and practices are intertwined with a system of corruption, kinship, and patronage networks. Three main insights emerge. First, the complex motives and ability of local actors to balance demands for transparency from the international community with participation in the corrupt local political system determines which international norms they adopt. Second, the struggle for power over the transparency process determines the local understanding of transparency. Third, the link between transparency and corruption is paradoxical. Corruption conditions the enactment of transparency but even this corrupted transparency is useful in fighting corruption. Thus, transparency becomes part of the problem as well as part of the solution.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)785-802
Number of pages18
Issue number3
Early online date7 Aug 2020
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Wiley Periodicals LLC.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration
  • Marketing


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