Corruption and state politics in Sierra Leone

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

558 Scopus citations


Focusing on informal markets, particularly Sierra Leone's lucrative illicit diamond industry, the book shows how some politicians and a few businessmen exercise significant political authority through private control of these resources. These clandestine circuits sustain powerful political and economic networks in times of crises. Their control over informal markets significantly shapes the implementation of creditor-sponsored policies designed to undermine informal markets. They manipulate policies designed to attract foreign investors who then underwrite what emerges as an alternative "shadow state' in the midst of institutional decay. The aim of the study is to show how these men become rich, controlling diverse avenues of illicit exchange and exercising considerable political power, while the collapsing formal state cannot reverse the sharp contraction of revenues. The author suggests that as the post-colonial state is eroded there is a return to the enclave economies and private armies that characterized the pre-colonial and colonial arrangements between European businessmen or administrators and some African political figures. -after Author

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCorruption and state politics in Sierra Leone
PublisherCambridge University Press; African Studies Series, 83
ISBN (Print)0521471796, 9780521471794
StatePublished - Jan 1 1995
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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