This Present Darkness: A History of Nigerian Organized Crime ,


“[A] critical analysis of how various Nigerian social and political institutions have created and sustained opportunities for illegal gain. The book offers fascinating details of political corruption, and a useful distillation of the mechanics of criminal enterprises, but its primary contribution to Nigerian historiography lies in mapping links between the breakdown of longstanding African institutions during the colonial period, the emergence of new arrangements to fill the gaps, and current illegal activity by official and conventional criminals.” — The International Journal of African Historical Studies

“This is quite simply a dynamite book, striking first of all for the sheer depth of research that has gone into it. It is remarkable, too, in the way that it is able to fit this material into a bigger picture, created not only by a thorough familiarity with Nigerian history and politics, but also by an awareness especially of the spiritual dimensions of Nigerian life, and the ways in which these feed through into crime as well as virtually every other aspect of Nigerian affairs.” — Christopher Clapham, University of Cambridge

“Lucid, starkly realistic, and beautifully written, this book calls into sharp focus the nature of corruption in Nigeria. Ellis provides an insightful explanation for why reform programmes almost always end in disappointment. This book is a significant contribution to our understanding of the nature of the state in this most important African country. The richness and clarity of the empirical detail and the overall analysis validates Ellis’ position as one of the most consistently imaginative and creative thinkers of our time on the central issues of politics in Africa. More than any other book, this sober analysis of the deep historical social roots of corruption is sure to be



Oxford University Press




Hardcover( 256 pages)


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