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Oil and Insurgency in the Niger Delta: Managing the Complex Politics of Petroviolence


About the Book

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.

Praise for the Book

'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

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