Crafting counter frames: Shell's corporate strategies in the Nigeria campaign, 1995–1998

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In this article we analyse the actions of Royal Dutch/Shell (since 2021, Shell) considering the campaign against them and their operations in Nigeria in the mid-1990s. Using the concept counter-frames we analyse Shell's internal documentation of the campaign to understand how a multinational extractive industry engaged in disputes of legitimacy and against critiques of their operations. Focusing on frame disputes in the campaign the article contributes with an understanding of the practical development of counter-frames. Using historical records in the form of internal situational reports circulated among subsidiaries during the campaign period we show how different strategies such as lobbying, individual contacts, embedded journalists, production of information products and the development of social programs all were developed through a historical and contingent process between subsidiaries, the public and social movement organisations. Rather than solely identifying strategies used by oil companies the paper expose and analyse the internal logics of Shell which add important insights on the development of corporate strategies in in light of environmental and human right campaigns, legislations and standards.
Original languageEnglish
Article number101207
JournalThe Extractive Industries and Society
Early online date2023 Jan 23
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • History
  • Social Sciences Interdisciplinary


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