This research intends to analyze informality as a dimension of the social contract initiated by marginalized actors in response to the crisis of welfare state in Global South. Specifically, it will mobilise the practices and effects of State (government) to examine the temporalities of cross-border fuel smuggling repression in Benin- Nigeria borderland during the democratic renewal (1990-2016), and how they structure public action. I use the concept of informality as a platform to consider the co-production of controls in the public space in the context of multi-stakeholders governance where order, defiance and transgression meet. And this in a context of ambivalence around activities legally prohibited but socially tolerated and embedded in the informal economy.
This project proposes an innovative and interdisciplinary investigation centered on the State through the dynamics of informality. This research subscribes to a critical and empirical perspective, based at crossroads of Anthropology of State, Sociology of daily life and Social economy, aiming to bring into focus the heuristic potential of the concept of informality.