International Journal of
Sociology and Anthropology

  • Abbreviation: Int. J. Sociol. Anthropol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2006-988X
  • DOI: 10.5897/IJSA
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 333


CSR as corporate social responsibility or colonial structures return? A Nigerian case study

Stephen Vertigans
Sociology, School of Applied Social Studies, Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, UK.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 06 April 2011
  •  Published: 30 June 2011



In this paper the impact of oil and gas companies in Nigeria is explored under the umbrella concept of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). At one level there is acknowledgement of greater emphasis on socially responsible policies. Nevertheless these are limited in scope and ambition and the energy sector continues to create social, environmental, cultural and political problems in the region. Focussing on the concept of CSR and lack of application should not however detract from the lack of engagement by the Nigerian government which has resulted in oil companies being held responsible for the failings of politicians. Instead the nature of the critique of the energy sector bears a striking resemblance to the demands against colonial rule. The crucial difference today though is that people are demanding greater control and regulation from the ‘commercial colonialists’ rather than less.


Key words: Colonialism, corporate social responsibility, energy, oil, transnational corporations (TNCs).