Oil, terrorism and China: Is there a new securitization of United States foreign policy in Africa?
This thesis explores the question of whether there has been a “new” securitization of United States foreign policy in Africa since the late 1990s. It follows a stream of literature and real-world evidence suggesting that U.S. engagement with African countries has taken on a more securitized tone in the years since the end of the twentieth century. This thesis suggests that there are three key factors behind this securitization: oil, terrorism and the rise of China. I explore these factors in the context of wider U.S.-Africa engagement before examining in greater detail the case of the changing U.S. relationship with Nigeria. As one of Africa’s major oil producers as well as a site of terrorist activity and Chinese expansion, the case of Nigeria demonstrates how securitization has occurred and what effects this has had on the country and the wider African situation.