Patrons and Power: Creating a Political Community in Metropolitan Lagos, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Patrons and Power

Creating a Political Community in Metropolitan Lagos, 1st Edition

By Sandra T. Barnes


270 pages

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Paperback: 9780367001285
pub: 2020-08-24
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Originally published in 1986, this urban political ethnography focusses on Mushin, a large suburb of metropolitan Lagos, Nigeria. It explores the mechanisms which bridge the various social categories to bring about political interaction. The book traces the development of Mushin from a collection of rural villages to its full status as a political community. It analyses structures and processes and the ways in which, since the 19th century, the system has responded to colonial, civilian and military regimes. It examines the tactics ordinary people use to meet their needs and the ways in which political aspirants manipulate the system to acquire and wield power.


…'a masterly and fascinating book which deserves wide readership…' Journal of African History

…'the book offers an insight into a number of subjects of modern African history…' African Affairs

Table of Contents

1. Introduction 2. The Making of Mushin 3. Land and Housing as Sources of Power 4. The Residential Basis of Leadership 5. The Chieftaincy System 6. The Consolidation of Leadership 7. The Role of Factions in the Struggle for Power 8. The Institutionalisation of Power 9. Conclusions

About the Author

Sandra T. Barnes is Secretary of the American Council of Learned Societies. She is Professor of Anthropology and Founding Director of the African Studies Center at the University of Pennsylvania. She is the author of three books and numerous articles.

About the Series

African Seminars: Scholarship from the International African Institute

Originally published between 1986 and 1989 the 8 volumes in this set reflect the research and debate surrounding many issues for the African economy, society and culture and as such make a vital contribution to effective development, both rural and urban. They re-issue key titles from the International African Library and the International African Seminars and address themes of direct relevance to contemporary Africa on topics as diverse as medicine, migration, housing, pastorialism and marriage.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Anthropology / Cultural
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Human Geography
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies