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The State that Works: A ‘Pockets of Effectiveness’ Perspective on Nigeria and Beyond

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Chapter Summary

Pockets of effectiveness (PoE) are public organisations that deliver public services relatively effective in contexts of largely ineffective government. Such pockets exist in most contexts, even in the most corrupt and ineffective countries; however, research and academic literature on this phenomenon is scarce and incoherent. This chapter explores the existence and emergence of PoE in all developing countries. It then focuses on what the answers teach about the nature of the state, the 'stateness' in developing countries, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. The chapter discusses the two PoE case studies from Nigeria. It also presents PoE-related definitions and selected elements of a research framework for PoE, and outlines the factors that best explain why and how they emerged as PoE.

Keywords: Nigeria; pockets of effectiveness (PoE); sub-Saharan Africa



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