Oil Wealth and Insurgency in Nigeria

9780253015693: Hardback
Release Date: 29th July 2015

9780253015730: Paperback
Release Date: 29th July 2015

6 b&w illus., 5 maps

Dimensions: 152 x 229

Number of Pages: 316

Indiana University Press

Oil Wealth and Insurgency in Nigeria

Hardback / £70.00
Paperback / £27.99

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.

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

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

"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

"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

"Clearly presented and accessible, this book offers both a convincing analysis and a fascinating narrative."


"This ambitious book employs an anthropological approach to dissecting and understanding relationships among the Nigerian state, multinational corporations, natural resources, local communities in the Niger Delta region, and NGOs. Recommended."


"Oil Wealth and Insurgency in Nigeria offers a thoughtful new explanation for Nigeria's oil rebellions that will withstand scholarly scrutiny, and strip governments, corporations, and even many NGOs of their operative assumptions about the Niger Delta."

International Journal of African Historical Studies

"This book is well written and delivers what it promises to do at the outset. It details appreciably the different claims to Nigerian oil wealth and the consequences that follow when birthright claims go unmet. The growth in oil revenue, and the perception or reality that it has not been shared fairly, have no doubt been the major reasons for power contestation in Nigeria."

Africa Today

"Adunbi's Oil Wealth and Insurgency in Nigeria is an excellent book that should be extensively consulted by anyone interested in understanding the politics of energy production."

African Conflict and Peacemaking Review