Corruption Fights Back: Localizing Transparency and EITI in the Nigerian ‘Penkelemes’




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Wiley Online Library



Peer reviewed



This study explores how the global transparency norm is localized in the Nigerian extractive industry. Transparency is theorised as a process which can be analysed 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.


The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version. The Publisher's final version can be found by following the DOI link.


Accountability, Africa, Corruption, Culture, Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), Energy Policy, Global South, International Norms, Localization, Penkelemes, Politics, Political Economy, Oil and Gas, Nigeria, Power, Institutions, patron client networks


Ejiogu, A., Ejiogu, C and Ambituuni, A. (2020) Corruption Fights Back: Localizing Transparency and EITI in the Nigerian Penkelemes. Governance: An International Journal of Policy, Administration and Institutions,


Research Institute

People, Organisations and Work Institute (POWI)