How do ethnic militias perpetuate in Nigeria? A micro-level perspective on the Oodua People’s Congress

Yvan Guichaoua

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


The paper discusses the recently promoted view that organized insurgent violence should either be conducted by activists bonded together by social capital ties or self-interested quasi-mercenaries, depending on the type of ?nancial resources available to the group. We contrast this perspective with the study of an ethnic Nigerian militia, the Oodua People’s Congress (OPC). It appears that the success of this militia over time was jointly sustained by important preexisting social connections and numerous opportunities for eco-nomic gains. The perpetuation of OPC, we argue, is ensured by a “moral economy” whose members enjoy self-insurance in an environment perceived as unsafe.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1657-1666
Number of pages10
JournalWorld Development
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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