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Inge Amundsen

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Inge Amundsen

Experiencing high levels of poverty and corruption, Nigeria is widely perceived as the quintessential resource cursed country. Yet, the oil exporter nonetheless underwent a democratic transition with its March 2015 elections. The explanation for this puzzle partly lies in the recent fall in oil prices and related government revenues, which limited patronage spending before the elections. Applying a political ecology lens to the case, however, also points towards deeper explanations: the costs and benefits of Nigerian oil extraction have been very unevenly distributed allowing the formation of new, and the destruction of old, political alliances. Keywords: Nigeria, elections, democracy, oil revenues, patronage, capital flight