Transnationalism, Africa’s ‘Resource Curse’ and ‘Contested Sovereignties’: The Struggle for Nigeria’s Niger Delta

Part of the International Political Economy Series book series (IPES)


This chapter focuses on the impact of globalization on sovereignty in post-Cold War Africa. It shows how the assumptions of mainstream International Relations (IR) about state-centred sovereignty in relation to its geographical, territorial, spatial and juridical forms are called into question by transnational and sub-national social and economic forces that operate below, penetrate, mesh with and transcend the state. It demonstrates how state legitimacy and power over resources are challenged by new centres of power, such as ethnic-minority identity movements driven by the quest for self-determination and resource control, as in the case of Nigeria’s oil-rich Niger Delta region. In asserting ownership of crude oil, or in responding to some of the challenges from below, the Nigerian state has had to accommodate the interests of, and rely on some non-state transnational actors – Multinational Oil Corporations (MNOCs) and Private Security Contractors (PSCs) – or seek international support/legitimacy by engaging with various international actors/multilateral organizations.


Niger Delta International Relation State Sovereignty Resource Curse Popular Sovereignty 
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© Cyril I. Obi 2012

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