Oil, youth and networks of the ‘unconnected’ in Nigeria’s Oil Delta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article draws on fieldwork data to argue that while the reality of widespread privations does indeed play a role in generating legitimate grievances upon which social action in Nigeria's oil-rich Niger Delta is based, those who are able to violently animate their grievances are invariably part of a very complex network of clientelism that is both intimately connected to the structures of state power at the same time and opposed to its very logic. It therefore challenges notions of Niger Delta militants as members of a disempowered and marginalized social category. It highlights the importance of social networks to the ability of youth to take advantage of perverse incentives of the oil economy and calls for policy frameworks that recognize their embeddeness within the overall architectures of power in the country.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1203-1215
Number of pages12
JournalSociety and Natural Resources
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 12 Sep 2015


  • conflict resolution
  • informal economy
  • power
  • social conflict
  • Sub-Saharan Africa

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