John Agbonifo received his PhD from the Institute of Social Studies of the Erasmus University Rotterdam and is currently a senior lecturer of sociology at Osun State University, Nigeria. His research interest centers on environmental transformations mediated by multinational oil corporations, and the human consequences of environmental change with particular regard to grassroots collective mobilization. He explores the themes from sub-Saharan African perspective, focusing in particular on the extractive industry in the Niger Delta of Nigeria. He has also worked on violent conflicts and the use of sanctions to promote international security, and the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI) as an effective tool for conflict prevention and development in Nigeria. In the course of his works, John has received support from the Dutch and Swiss governments through the Netherlands Fellowship Programme, and Swiss Government Excellence Postdoctoral fellowship, respectively.
Although, John trained as a social scientist, contact with the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society (RCC) in 2013, as a Rachel Carson fellow, marked a watershed in his career path. His fellowship stay at the RCC shaped realization that social sciences’ concern with societal transformations constituted just a part of the puzzle of understanding reality. It became clearer to him that comprehensive understanding of societal change must inevitably engage with not only how society transforms the environment but also with how the environment in turn shapes society. The insight has substantially helped to restructure John’s book, Environment and Conflict: Place and the Logic of Collective Action in the Niger Delta, which is forthcoming with Routledge. In 2015, John founded the African Network of Environmental Humanities (ANEH) in an attempt to popularize environmental humanities in Africa.