I had two articles published this month in the Canadian Journal of African Studies and the African Conflict and Peacebuilding Review based on my fieldwork in Nigeria.
1. Gender roles in Nigeria’s non-violent oil resistance movement
Since the 1980s, Nigerians have engaged in non-violent protests against oil exploitation polluting their lands. This qualitative case study asks why Niger Delta women came to engage in seemingly separate, all-female protests starting in 2002, mobilizing in a long-standing resistance previously led by men. Using grounded theory methods, this multi-site ethnography draws on one-on-one interviews, participant observations, and university and non-governmental organization archival data. It finds that although women were indeed aggrieved by oil, their protests from 2002 to 2012 did not emerge autonomously from those of men, as described in scholarship elsewhere. Rather, these findings indicate that male elites may have had a role in initiating women’s collective action in response to their own failed prior negotiations, to increase the number of protesters, and to bolster men’s dialogue. This study provides a nuanced corrective to the Niger Delta narrative and expands our understanding of gender dynamics in social movements.
(2020). Gender roles in Nigeria’s non-violent oil resistance movement, Canadian Journal of African Studies / Revue canadienne des études africaines, DOI: 10.1080/00083968.2020.1718512
2. When Local Law Impedes Conflict Resolution: Women’s Oil Protests in the Niger Delta
Nigeria’s oil-rich Niger Delta region hosts a long-standing conflict among residents, the government, and foreign oil companies operating in rural areas. Both peaceful and armed cadres of men have led mobilizations against extractive operations but then all-female demonstrations arose relatively suddenly, seemingly separate from men, starting in 2002. Based on qualitative field data, this ethnographic case study explores how women’s perceptions of law informed their decision to protest in response to their oil-related grievances from 2002 to 2012. It asks why women avoided the use of formal state law, remaining embedded in localized traditional law for formal, rights-based legal matters. The main findings are that women see written law from the state as inherently good but corrupting individuals as the reason it cannot be galvanized for conflict resolution. They also perceive a binary between local and state law, with indigenous leaders acting as gatekeepers controlling access between the two legal planes. This study suggests that traditional law may impede women’s ability to resolve their oil-related problems in Nigeria.
Laine Munir (2020). When Local Law Impedes Conflict Resolution: Women’s Oil Protests in the Niger Delta. African Conflict and Peacebuilding Review 10, issue 1. DOI: 10.2979/africonfpeacrevi.10.1.02.
These are also available on SSRN and Academia.edu.