Vol. 7 Núm. 1 (2021)

Understanding Niger Delta’s violence from a World-Ecology perspective: DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18847/1.13.4

Oscar Mateos
Blanquerna-Universitat Ramon Llull, Spain
Publicado junio 21, 2021
Palabras clave
  • Violence,
  • Niger Delta,
  • World-Ecology,
  • Oil,
  • Capitalism


The conflict in the Niger Delta region (Nigeria) has become one of the most environmentally and humanly devastating contexts on the African continent since the 1960s. The network of different actors involved in this context forms a complex web in which multiple and asymmetrical dynamics and interactions can be identified. From Jason Moore’s World-Ecology perspective (2015), the article suggests that this complex interaction should not be understood as a mere postcolonial episode in the context of globalisation, but as a historical network of relations. This network, in which human and extra-human natures are intertwined, is key to understanding the process of capital accumulation in the region and the resulting capitalogenic violence since the 16th century. Against this background, the article also attempts to counter the tendency to interpret violence and social resistance in the Niger Delta region as mere criminal phenomena or from narratives such as the “resource curse” that has simplified the multidimensionality of violence. In this sense, the paper analyses the different forms, strategies and meanings through which local resistance movements have tried to safeguard and re-appropriate their livelihoods and the commons in recent decades in the face of the growing presence of multinational oil corporations.