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Corruption in sub-Saharan Africa’s established and simulated democracies: the cases of Ghana, Nigeria and South Sudan

Crime, Law and Social Change

Published online on



This article makes a contribution to the debate over the interconnectedness between democratization, corruption and resource dependence by way of a qualitative analysis of three African states, Ghana, Nigeria and South Sudan, in various stages of democratization, from post-conflict transition to increasingly consolidated democracies. The underlying question guiding the analysis is to assess how both the practice and perception of corruption change in the course of democratization. Using survey data, secondary literature and empirical observations, the article juxtaposes empirical findings with theories of the African state and finds neo-patrimonialism and the concept of the gatekeeper state the most satisfactory explanatory models for the sources and types of corruption in African democracies afflicted by the resource curse.