Systemic corruption undermines state capacity, imperils socio-economic development, and diminishes democracy. In his Nairobi speech as a U.S. senator in August 2006, Barack Obama described the struggle to reduce corruption as "the fight of our time". An international conference in Lagos, Nigeria, in September 2011 was devoted to Richard Joseph's influential 1987 book, Democracy and Prebendal Politics in Nigeria: The Rise and Fall of the Second Republic.Transforming prebendalist systems must be at the center of strategies to strengthen democracy and achieve poverty-reducing economic growth in Africa and other regions.
Richard Joseph is John Evans Professor of International History and Politics at Northwestern University and Non resident Senior Fellow in Global Economy and Development at the Brookings Institution. As a Fellow of The Carter Center, he participated in democracy and peace initiatives in Ghana, Zambia, Ethiopia, Liberiaand Sudan. He has written extensively on issues of democracy, governance and political economy. His books include Radical Nationalism in Cameroun (1977), Democracy and Prebendal Politics in Nigeria (1987) and edited books, Gaullist Africa: Cameroon under Ahmadu Ahidjo (1978), State, Conflict and Democracy in Africa (1999), and (with Alexandra Gillies), Smart Aid for African Development (2009). He served as Principal Investigator of the Research Alliance to Combat HIV/AIDS (REACH), a collaborative program in Nigeria, 2006–2011. His current writing and policy projects concern growth, democracy and security. To address these issues, he is designing a collaborative project, AfricaPlus (http://africaplus.wordpress.com/), whose first focus country is Nigeria.
Here is the link to Richard Joseph remarks and the PowerPoint for the talk.