The Politics of an Oil Crash: How the 2020 Oil Shock Affected Political Settlements in Nigeria and Implications for Future Shocks
How will traumatic decarbonization affect peace processes and political settlements in fragile oil-producing states in Africa and the Middle East?
The Politics of an Oil Crash:
How the 2020 Oil Shock Affected Political Settlements in Nigeria and Implications for Future Shocks
From the Nigerian people to scholars, and even Nigerian government officials, the Nigerian government is often described as an elite cartel focused on dividing up the immense oil spoils. Oil has historically accounted for 65 – 85 percent of government revenues, but what happens when the oil money dries up? In essence, what happens when Nigeria’s rentier state loses its main source of revenue? While this was once a distant question, the 2020 twin demand and supply shocks to oil have not only brought this question center stage but have also provided evidence of how traumatic decarbonization, rapid loss of oil revenues, will affect contemporary Nigerian politics.
This paper analyzes how the 2020 twin oil shocks affected political settlements in Nigeria and the implications for future oil shocks or transitions. It is based on information that was available to policymakers at the time to understand how they made decisions, what they prioritized, and the implications of those decisions.
Jared Miller is a peacebuilding, anti-corruption, and governance researcher- practitioner focused on how to strengthen accountable governance in contexts of systemic corruption. He is Researcher with The World Peace Foundation, a Senior Associate with The Corruption, Justice, and Legitimacy Program, and a PhD candidate at The Fletcher School at Tufts University. At The World Peace Foundation, he analyzes political systems where corruption is systemic and how they contribute and respond to major shocks (e.g. humanitarian crises, loss of oil rents, and protests). In his work with the Corruption, Justice and Legitimacy Program, Jared focuses on the relationship between civil servants, social norms, and corruption and the implications for anti-corruption strategies. Lastly, Jared is pursuing a PhD at The Fletcher School at Tufts University where he is focusing on the intersection of peacebuilding and anti-corruption efforts in Nigeria. Previously, Jared worked on community-based peacebuilding programs with Search for Common Ground in northern Nigeria.
The Carbon Compacts, Decarbonization, and Peace in Fragile States in Africa and the Middle East project was a 21-month research project led by the World Peace Foundation at Tufts University and funded by the United States Institute for Peace. Our goal within the project was to analyze how traumatic decarbonization—a rapid loss of oil rents—would affect peace processes and political settlements in fragile oil-producing states in Africa and the Middle East.
Learn more about the Carbon Compacts, Decarbonization and Peace in Fragile States in Africa and the Middle East program.
Photo: “Untitled” by Clara Sanchiz/RNW. Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic(CC BY-SA 2.0)
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