The Devil’s Money

A Multi-level Approach to Acceleration and Turbulence in Oil-Producing Southern Chad

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  • 1 Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg andrea.behrends@ethnologie.uni-halle.de
  • 2 Centre de Recherche en Anthropologie et Sciences Humaines (CRASH) hoinathy@yahoo.fr
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Abstract

This article analyzes the effects of a World Bank–promoted oil revenue distribution model in Chad. The authors engage the classic anthropological concerns of kinship and land tenure to examine how oil money has affected the southern Chadian oil zone. In determining whether oil money differs from money originating in other industries, two examples are used: the effects of salaries from pipeline construction on marriage payments and the effects of compensation payments on land ownership and kinship. With regard to these effects, the authors argue that oil generates a uniquely disruptive form of local inflation. They conclude that despite the World Bank’s measures to ensure that its oil model is transparent and socially just, these disruptions inhere in the model itself.

Contributor Notes

Andrea Behrends currently holds a Guest Professorship in Social and Cultural Anthropology at the Free University of Berlin. She was the principal investigator in an international research project, “Oil and Social Change in Niger and Chad,” affiliated with the Institute for Social and Cultural Anthropology at the University of Halle-Wittenberg. She co-edited the books Crude Domination: An Anthropol­ ogy of Oil (2011) and Travelling Models in African Conflict Management (2014) and has just finished her second monograph, entitled “Staying: Displacement, Emplacement and Aid in the Chad-Sudan Borderlands” (forthcoming).

Remadji Hoinathy is Executive Manager of the Centre de Recherche en Anthropologie et Sciences Humaines (CRASH) in N’Djamena, Chad. A former PhD Candidate at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology and an Associate Research Fellow in the “Oil and Social Change in Niger and Chad” project, since 2014 he has been an Associate Lecturer in the Department of Anthropology at the University of N’Djamena. His publications include Pétrole et changement social au Tchad: Rente pétrolière et monétisation des relations économiques et sociales dans la zone pétrolière de Doba (2013).

Social Analysis

The International Journal of Anthropology

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