Generator Mafias, Electric Power and the Aspiring Middle Class in Nigeria


128 Hope Street, Room 212

Daniel Jordan Smith, Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Africa Initiative at Brown

Professor Smith's talk draws on his recently released book, Every Household Its Own Government: Improvised Infrastructure, Entrepreneurial Citizens and the State in Nigeria. The book provides an up-close account of how Nigerians' self-reliance in the absence of reliable government services enables official dysfunction to strengthen state power. The presentation focuses on the case of electricity, which is at once a necessity for and a potent symbol of modern social life. How Nigerians cope with the failures of the country's electricity infrastructure offers a revealing window onto intersecting issues of class, citizenship and statecraft.