Manufacturing consent in Africa? Multinationals, NGOs and the (re)invention of resistance in the Niger Delta’s oilscapes

Akin Iwilade*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Does a proliferation of activist or advocacy non-governmental organisations (NGOs) indicate greater power to pressure multinationals to behave responsibly? This paper answers this question by exploring how multinational oil companies deploy corporate social responsibility (CSR) as a tool to shape the nature of resistance to their disruptive impacts on extractive contexts in Africa. It focusses in particular on their role in building NGO networks and uses evidence from the activities of Chevron in Nigeria’s Niger Delta to show how these networks have become new sites through which multinational corporations exercise hegemonic power over the resistance landscape in the region. It concludes that NGO density–in spite of its appearance of facilitating greater participation–has little impact on the power dynamics in extractive contexts, on the logics of extraction and on the medium-term stability of the sector. What it does achieve is the construction of a gentrified ‘resistance and engagement’ landscape that is bureaucratised and middle-class driven, that excludes key actors and that is inevitably sympathetic to the oil industry.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages19
JournalThird World Quarterly
Early online date30 Sept 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 30 Sept 2022

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • corporate social responsibility
  • multinational
  • NGO
  • Niger Delta
  • oil
  • resistance


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