Africa: Politics and Societies South of the Sahara

Nigeria: Criminal Energy

Posted in African Politics, Nigeria by ruben eberlein on August 5, 2008

Gang violence in the Niger Delta, Nigeria, is there to stay because it is fueled by rent-seeking local politicians and their comrades at the federal level. My contribution to Konkret (August 08) deals with the crisis in the oil-producing region of Nigeria and tries to disentangle the complicated relationship between local and regional government officials, armed militias, international oil companies as well as free-lanced political entrepreneurs (pdf of the article here).

See also a more academic analysis in Journal of Modern African Studies (December 2006): On the road to the state’s perdition? Authority and sovereignty in the Niger Delta, Nigeria.

This article discusses the reorganisation and fragmentation of political rule in the Nigerian Niger Delta from the end of the 1990s until today. It details empirical evidence on the resources provided by transnational interventions, especially those connected to the changing security strategies of oil companies as well as intensified corporate social deployments, and on the appropriation of these resources by local actors. The continued drive from neopatrimonial to predatory rule, it is argued, has taken a decided twist towards localisation during recent years. Instead of constructing the crises in the Niger Delta as an example of ‘state failure’, the focus of this article is directed at the establishment of extra-state political formations, their legitimising discourses and social practices.

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