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This article examines the formation of ‘the public’ or ‘the people’ as negotiated by a small number of national NGOs in eastern Nigeria. The ways in which these NGOs conceive of ‘the people’ or ‘the public’ and the actions they undertake are often at odds with conceptions of ‘the public interest’ implicit in much development policy. At the same time, their actions do not conform to a moral economy governed by obligations to primordial groups. Instead, this article argues that the NGOs are seeking a particular kind of accountability from the state, and concludes that the forms of accountability pursued by NGO workers provide important insights into how the Nigerian state is perceived and ultimately produced.
Author(s): Routley L
Publication type: Article
Publication status: Published
Journal: African Affairs
Print publication date: 14/12/2011
ISSN (print): 0001-9909
ISSN (electronic): 1468-2621
Publisher: Oxford University Press
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