Oil governance in Nigeria's Niger Delta: Exploring the role of the militias

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This article explores the complex voices of militants associated with the capture of oil resources in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. The persistent violent conflict surrounding the struggle over oil resources is a major concern for many within the country and the international community. Understanding the conflict over oil in the Niger Delta has triggered a wide range of discussions and debates among researchers, politicians and policy makers. However, these debates have overlooked the views of the militants themselves, who are actively engaged in the conflict over resource governance in the region. Drawing on new empirical data, this article builds upon insights from the New Social Movements literature to explore the experience and expectations of militants, and to then reflect on the significance of these for understanding the politics of oil governance in the Niger Delta. We argue that militia actions that appear to challenge the legitimacy and authority of the Nigerian state to control oil resources, are embedded in complex webs of formal and informal interactions involving political elites, militia leaders and primary citizens. This, we argue, offers a fresh and innovative perspective into the dynamics of militancy in the governance of oil resources in the Niger Delta.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)302-307
Number of pages6
JournalExtractive Industries and Society
Issue number3
Early online date17 Apr 2018
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jul 2018


  • Conflict
  • Militants
  • Niger Delta
  • Nigeria
  • Oil governance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development
  • Economic Geology
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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