Oil Wealth and Insurgency in Nigeria

Oil Wealth and Insurgency in Nigeria

Omolade Adunbi
Distribution: World
Publication date: 07/29/2015
Format: Paperback 6 b&w illus., 5 maps
ISBN: 978-0-253-01573-0
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Winner, Amaury Talbot Prize for African Anthropology

Omolade Adunbi investigates the myths behind competing claims to oil wealth in Nigeria’s Niger Delta. Looking at ownership of natural resources, oil extraction practices, government control over oil resources, and discourse about oil, Adunbi shows how symbolic claims have created an "oil citizenship." He explores the ways NGOs, militant groups, and community organizers invoke an ancestral promise to defend land disputes, justify disruptive actions, or organize against oil corporations. Policies to control the abundant resources have increased contestations over wealth, transformed the relationship of people to their environment, and produced unique forms of power, governance, and belonging.

Author Bio

Omolade Adunbi is Assistant Professor of Afroamerican and African Studies and Faculty Associate for Program in the Environment at the University of Michigan.


“Reveals the complex interrelationships and ambiguous borders between key groups of actors: NGOs, militants, youth groups, elders, the army, corporations, and the state, and looks specifically and uniquely at the centrality of oil in the production of social identity.”
 — Kristin D. Phillips, Emory University

“Provides a much needed ethnographic perspective on the complex dimensions of the long-running social and political conflict in Nigeria's Niger Delta.”
 — Daniel Jordan Smith, author of A Culture of Corruption: Everyday Deception and Popular Discontent in Nigeria

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Environment, Transnational Networks, and Resource Extraction
1. Sweet Crude: Neoliberalism and the Paradox of Oil Politics
2. The Spatialization of Human and Environmental Rights Practices
3. Mythic Oil: Corporations, Resistance, and the Politics of Claim-making
4. Contesting Landscapes of Wealth: Oil Platforms of Possibilities and Pipelines of Conflict
5. The State’s Two Bodies: Creeks of Violence and the City of Sin
6. Oil Wealth Of Violence: The Social and Spatial Construction of Militancy
7. Proclaiming Amnesty, Constructing Peace: Oil and the Silencing of Violence
Conclusion: Beyond The Struggle for Oil Resources

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