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The Lagos Model and the politics of competing conceptions of good governance in Oyo State, Nigeria 2011-2015

Roelofs, Portia (2016) The Lagos Model and the politics of competing conceptions of good governance in Oyo State, Nigeria 2011-2015. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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Identification Number: 10.21953/lse.qnksri4jv75q


In the context of international agendas to transform African States from a state of corruption to good governance, Oyo State’s transformation in 2011 provides an apparent fairy tale case study. For eight years, the state was synonymous with violence and ‘godfatherism’, but Governor Abiola Ajimobi’s election in 2011 brought the promise of transformation, in line with the Lagos Model, based on the highly celebrated example of nearby Lagos State. This thesis draws on six months of in-depth qualitative fieldwork in Ibadan, the capital of Oyo State, to show how the Lagos Model in Oyo State leveraged international conceptions of good governance to pursue a political strategy of autonomy from central government, whilst building on long-held progressive political ideas in Yorubaland. However, the Lagos Model faced competition from populist opposition, who drew on the failings of the Lagos Model to meet popular conceptions of good governance. Key themes in popular conceptions of good governance are: progress, legitimate leadership and economic benefits. This thesis analyses the tensions within the Lagos Model’s response to these themes and uses empirical material to reveal how these tensions play out in practice. The ways in which Ajimobi was required to respond to numerous competing conceptions of good governance complicates the initial theoretical framing of a binary between corruption and good governance.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2016 Portia Roelofs
Library of Congress subject classification: J Political Science > JF Political institutions (General)
Sets: Departments > International Development
Supervisor: Meagher, Kate

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