£26.99 | $47.95

10 February 2011
ISBN: 9781848138070
272 pages
234 x 156mm
Africa Now
Development, International Relations, Politics

Oil and Insurgency in the Niger Delta

Managing the Complex Politics of Petro-violence

Contributions by Ukoha Ukiwo, Babatunde Ahonsi, Rhuks Ako, Engobo Emeseh, Ibaba Samual, Charles Ukeje, Kayode Soremekun, Morten Bøås, Augustine Ikelegbe, Nils Duquet, Oluwatoyin Oluwaniyi, Anna Zalik, and Uwafiokun Idemudia and volume editor Cyril Obi and Siri Aas Rustad

The recent escalation in the violent conflict in the Niger Delta has brought the region to the forefront of international energy and security concerns. This book analyses the causes, dynamics and politics underpinning oil-related violence in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. It focuses on the drivers of the conflict, as well as the ways the crises spawned by the political economy of oil and contradictions within Nigeria's ethnic politics have contributed to the morphing of initially poorly coordinated, largely non-violent protests into a pan-Delta insurgency.

Approaching the issue from a number of perspectives, the book offers the most up-to-date and comprehensive analysis available of the varied dimensions of the conflict. Combining empirically-based and analytic chapters, it attempts to explain the causes of the escalation in violence, the various actors, levels and dynamics involved, and the policy challenges faced with regard to conflict management/resolution and the options for peace. It also examines the role of oil as a commodity of global strategic significance, addressing the relationship between oil, energy security and development in the Niger Delta.


'The crisis in the oil-producing Niger delta - a crisis at once political, economic, ecological and social - stands at the heart of contemporary Nigerian political economy. Oil and Insurgency in the Niger Delta will become the reference point for future debates on the origins and dynamics of conflict and political violence in the Nigerian oilfields. Obi and Rustad's collection charts the descent from Ken Saro-Wiwa's non-violent mobilization of the Ogoni in the 1980s and 1990s to the insurgency of the present. A pathbreaking book containing important insights into the complex landscape of oil, politics and the so-called 'resource curse'. Empirically rich and conceptually rigorous, this collection of essays is a tour de force.' - Michael Watts, University of California, Berkeley

'Obi and Rustad bring together some of the world's leading analysts on the Niger Delta insurgency for a gripping expose of the roots of the conflict and how actors in the region have responded to the crisis. The authors offer a deep, sobering, and multi-dimensional understanding of how the Niger Delta's descent into conflict came about and why it persists. This book will quickly become required reading for both scholars and practitioners interested in untangling these complex threads in order to promote peace, democracy, and development in the Niger Delta, and in similar resource-driven conflicts as well.' - Darren Kew, Associate Professor, Conflict Resolution Program, University of Massachusetts

'An invaluable resource for understanding the complex and interrelated dynamics of violence, exploitation, resistance and social change' in the region.' - Pambazuka News

Table of Contents

Introduction: Petro-violence in the Niger Delta: The Complex Politics of an Insurgency - Cyril Obi and Siri Aas Rustad
Part 1: Causes of Conflict, State (In)capacities
1. The Nigerian State, Oil and the Niger Delta Crisis - Ukiwo Ukoha
2. Capacity and Governance Deficits in the Response to the Niger Delta Crisis - Babatunde A. Ahonsi
3. The Struggle for Resource Control and Violence in the Niger Delta - Rhuks Ako
4. The Niger Delta Crisis and the Question of Access to Justice - Engobo Emeseh
5. The Ijaw National Congress and Conflict Resolution in the Niger Delta - Ibaba Samuel Ibaba
6. Changing the Paradigm of Pacification: Oil and Militarization in Nigeria's Niger Delta - Charles Ukeje
7. Nigeria's Oil Diplomacy and the Management of the Niger Delta Crisis - Kayode Soremekun
Part 2: Conflict Actors' Dynamics
8. 'Mend Me' the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta and the empowerment of violence - Morten Boås
9. Popular and Criminal Violence as instruments of struggle in the Niger Delta Region - Augustine Ikelegbe
10. Swamped with Weapons: The Proliferation of illicit small arms and light weapons in the Niger Delta - Nils Duquet
11. Women's Protests in the Niger Delta Region - Oluwatoyin Oluwaniyi
Part 3: Oil MNCs' Responses
12. Corporate Social Responsibility and the Niger Delta Conflict: Issues and Prospects - Uwafiokun Idemudia
13. Labelling Oil, Contesting Governance: LegalOil.com, the GMoU and Profiteering in the Niger Delta - Anna Zalik
Conclusion: Amnesty and Post-Amnesty Peace: Is the window of opportunity closing for the Niger Delta? - Cyril Obi and Siri Aas Rustad

About the Authors:

Cyril Obi is a Senior Researcher, and Leader, Research Cluster on Conflict, Displacement and Transformation at the Nordic Africa Institute, Uppsala, Sweden. He has been on leave since 2005 from the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Lagos, where is an Associate Research Professor. In 2004, Dr Obi became the second Claude Ake Visiting Professor at the University of Uppsala. He had earlier received international recognition/awards: Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA) Governance Institute Fellow in 1993; Fellow of the Salzburg Seminar 1994; SSRC-MacArthur Foundation Visiting Fellow in 1996; Visiting Fellow to the Africa Studies Centre (ASC), Leiden; and Visiting Fellow and Senior Research Associate, St. Antony's College, Oxford University in 2000. In 2001, he was a Fellow of the 21st Century Trust, Conference on 'Rethinking Security for the 21st Century, also held at Oxford. He is a contributing editor to the Review of African Political Economy, and is on the editorial board of African Journal of International Affairs, the African Security Review, and the Review of Leadership in Africa. Dr Obi has been a guest editor of journals such as African and Asian Studies, and African Journal of International Affairs. His most recent book co-edited with Fantu Cheru, is titled: The Rise of China and India in Africa (published by Zed, 2010).

Siri Aas Rustad is a researcher at the Centre for the Study of Civil War at the Peace Research Institute Oslo. In her research she mainly focuses on Post-conflict natural resource management, with a particular focus on Nigeria. Other research interests include natural resources role in conflict and the geography of conflict.

The Nordic Africa Institute (Nordiska Afrikainstitutet) is a center for research, documentation and information on modern Africa. Based in Uppsala, Sweden, the Institute is dedicated to providing timely, critical and alternative research and analysis of Africa and to co-operation with African researchers. As a hub and a meeting place for a growing field of research and analysis the Institute strives to put knowledge of African issues within reach for scholars, policy makers, politicians, media, students and the general public. The Institute is financed jointly by the Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden).