Coping With Social Deprivation through Self-Governing Institutions in Oil Communities of Nigeria
Abstract

In spite of the fact that Nigeria relies on oil for the main source of its revenue, the communities where crude oil is extracted lack important social services. The politics of exclusion adopted by the Nigerian state is largely responsible for this lack, which in turn breeds resentment and aggression on the part of the people, who respond in various ways, using various strategies for various reasons. Some people have adopted a negative approach, using violent and confrontational means, but others have revived their old traditions, rooted in collective action: through self-organizing and self-governing capabilities, they have worked to meet the needs of their communities and have achieved some success in providing social services. Social disparities among the Nigerian state, its oil partners, and the oil communities can be addressed if a new institutional arrangement, one that could use existing self-organizing and self-governing institutions as building blocks for reconstituting order from the bottom up, is designed and implemented.


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