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Palgrave Macmillan

Natural Resources and Conflict Dynamics in Federal Countries

Oil & Gas and Intergovernmental Relations in Canada and Nigeria

  • Book
  • Dec 2024
  • Latest edition


  • Investigates how federalism affects oil conflict between federal governments in Canada and Nigeria
  • Focuses on the distinctive or common conflict processes that emerge from differences in institutional
  • Provides a greater understanding of conflict in multinational federations

Part of the book series: Federalism and Internal Conflicts (FEINCO)

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About this book

This book examines the dynamics of oil and gas conflicts within the context of federalism in Canada, an older federation with broadly a decentralized institutional design governing oil and gas, and Nigeria, a newer federation with a largely centralized design. It traces resource ownership, control or regulation, and revenue sharing conflict processes over time, and provides a focused comparison of conflict over the role of oil in intergovernmental fiscal transfers in both countries. In so doing, the book provides a much-needed corrective to conventional, static notions of oil conflict as either violent or nonviolent outcomes by carefully analyzing the evolution and ebbs and flows of conflicts hidden within conflict patterns that appear to be self-reinforcing and entrenched. The book demonstrates that (de)centralization dynamics, especially the continuities and shifts in federal institutional (structural and ideational) rules about oil itself,are central to the concept of conflict dynamics. It highlights the endogenous processes of federal institutional development, and lends credence to the historical institutionalists’ emphasis on the entanglement of institutions in their own transformation. Yet, the book also reveals that conflict dynamics did not emerge solely from the initial "compromise" between federal and provincial/state actors regarding the allocation of competence over oil. The renegotiation and reinterpretation of these rules over time, which entails a redistribution of power/resources in response to historical temporalities and shocks, political agency, and changing socioeconomic realities, also generated unique patterns of conflict and conflict resolution within the federal institutional arenas.


  • Federalism
  • Intergovernmental relations
  • Conflict dynamics
  • Natural resource revenues
  • Oil
  • Canada
  • Nigeria


In this excellent contribution to comparative federal studies, Okpanachi brilliantly explores the complex intersections of resource competition, ethnic conflicts, regional inequality, fiscal regimes, constitutional and ideational structures, and intergovernmental relations in Canada and Nigeria. His historical and institutional comparison of the entrenched politicization of Nigerian revenue sharing and the relative predictability and flexibility of Canadian fiscal federalism is bold, nuanced, rigorous, and persuasive. This is an important new book, and the definitive study of Nigerian federalism from a comparative perspective.


—Rotimi Suberu, Bennington College, and editor, Regional and Federal Studies.

Authors and Affiliations

  • Faculty of Life Sciences and Education, University of South Wales, Pontypridd, United Kingdom

    Eyene Okpanachi

About the author

Eyene Okpanachi is Marie Curie Fellow at the University of South Wales, UK. He was previously Banting Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Victoria and Vanier Canada Graduate Scholar at the University of Alberta, Canada.

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: Natural Resources and Conflict Dynamics in Federal Countries

  • Book Subtitle: Oil & Gas and Intergovernmental Relations in Canada and Nigeria

  • Authors: Eyene Okpanachi

  • Series Title: Federalism and Internal Conflicts

  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan Cham

  • eBook Packages: Political Science and International Studies, Political Science and International Studies (R0)

  • Copyright Information: The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2024

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-3-031-34987-4Due: 26 December 2024

  • Softcover ISBN: 978-3-031-34990-4Due: 26 December 2024

  • eBook ISBN: 978-3-031-34988-1Due: 26 December 2024

  • Series ISSN: 2946-5370

  • Series E-ISSN: 2946-5389

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: X, 190

  • Number of Illustrations: 8 b/w illustrations

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