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Spending blood for oil in Nigeria: a frame analysis of Shell’s neutralisation of acts that led to corporate-initiated state crime
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Criminology.
2019 (English)In: Nordisk Tidsskrift for Kriminalvidenskab, ISSN 0029-1528, Vol. 106, no 3, p. 280-296Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The environmental impact of Shell Oil Company in Nigeria has resulted in large-scale protests. Despite their peaceful nature, these protests have been met with lethal violence by the Nigerian security forces. Accusations have been levelled against Shell for liability for human rights violations, but the company has denied responsibility. Previously confidential correspondence between Shell and Nigerian officials has come to show that the company has repeatedly persuaded security personnel to act against the protests. This article examines how Shell framed its desire for the Nigerian state to suppress the protests against the company. It does so by analysing the published documents, based on the theoretical framework provided by Stanley Cohen’s (1993) concepts regarding the neutralisation of criminal acts, and specifically, the neutralisation technique of appealing to higher loyalties. This is a technique adopted by companies when they use the greater good as a rationale for minimising their responsibility for harmful acts. The correspondence between Shell and Nigerian officials shows that Shell continuously urged the Nigerian officials to take action by referring to the company’s contribution to economic and social development in the region, even after their calls for action had been shown to have resulted in human rights abuses. In describing these rationales, the article highlights a case of corporate-initiated state crime, a form of crime that involves corporations inducing state actors to commit harmful acts.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. Vol. 106, no 3, p. 280-296
Keywords [en]
state-corporate crime, corporate-initiated state crime, neutralisations, Shell
National Category
Law and Society Other Social Sciences
Research subject
Criminology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-177311OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-177311DiVA, id: diva2:1381468
Available from: 2019-12-21 Created: 2019-12-21 Last updated: 2019-12-23Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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Language
  • de-DE
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More languages
Output format
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