Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name



Sociology and Anthropology

First Advisor

Basok, Tanya (Sociology, Anthropology and Criminology)


Sociology, Public and Social Welfare.



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


This thesis investigates how oil corporations in Nigeria govern citizens through the implementation of certain corporate responsibility initiatives. The examination of ExxonMobil, Shell, and Chevron, and how each corporation governs individuals through various capacity-building initiatives will be discussed. From a governmentality perspective, this thesis examines how, under neoliberalism, private actors utilize certain governance ''techniques'' that render individuals to be responsible and self-sufficient. By focussing on the ''responsibilization'' of Nigerian citizens, the oil corporations have minimized their own responsibility to respect the environment, life-styles, forms of subsistence, and human rights of the population effected by their oil explorations. This thesis concludes that the various capacity-building projects undertaken by ExxonMobil, Shell, and Chevron in order to govern Nigerian citizens, with their focus on building self-sufficiency and responsibility, have been indicative of the shifting power relations within the modern era of governance.