Marc Le Menestrel
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International Business and National Politics: Royal Dutch/Shell in Nigeria (Group Work and Discussion) Monday 29th of April 2013

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by Marc Le Menestrel (9/10/2011)

Should companies get together with governments to control or even fight activists movements that are trying to disrupt their activities? We discuss the context of Shell operations in Nigeria in the 1990s, and the business strategies implemented prior, during and after the death of Ken-Saro-Wiwa. We then debate the relationships between international business and national politics.

Required reading

EarthRights International, “Wiwa v. Royal Dutch Petroleum”, Complaint submitted to U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York (edited) (2000-2002).

Optional readings

Boele, R., Fabig, H. and Wheeler, D. “Shell, Nigeria and the Ogoni. A Study in Unsustainable Development: I. The Story of Shell, Nigeria and the Ogoni People – Environment, Economy, Relationships: Conflict and Prospects for Resolution.”, in Sustainable Development, 9, 2001, pp. 74-86.

UNEP, "Environmental Assessment of Ogoniland - Executive Summary", August 2011.

Video to be shown in class

The Guardian’s George Monbiot fierce encounter with Jeroen Van De Veer - CEO Shell on the oil giant’s damaging activities in Nigeria.


Choose one accusation against Shell presented in the complaint presented to the New York District. Suppose it is true and try to identify as precisely as possible what could have been the rational motives to engage in such action.

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