Lecture Catherine Boone: Regional inequalities and the politics of land law reform in African countries

09-03-2018 van 10:00 tot 13:00
Paddenhoek 1, 9000 Gent, lokaal 1.3
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Conflict Research Group
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Debates in Conflict & Development: rethinking statehood & governance


African countries are on the cusp of large-scale campaigns to promote the registration and tiling of rural land, most of which is currently in the hands of untitled smallholders.  For African societies, this push toward commodification of land will represent a “Great Transformation” of Polanyian proportions.  Who gains and who loses from this spread of market relations?  Drawing on political science analyses of the political geography of inequality within countries, this talk focuses on territorial inequalities within African states that drive distributive conflicts around the titling and privatization of rural land. 


Catherine Boone is Professor of Comparative Politics at the London School of Economics and Political Science.   She received her Ph.D from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).  Her research focuses on questions of comparative political economy, and especially on questions of institutional change and economic development. She is author of Property and Political Order: Land Rights and the Structure of Conflict in Africa (Cambridge University Press, 2014); Political Topographies of the African State: Territorial Authority and Institutional Choice (CUP 2003), and Merchant Capital and the Roots of State Power in Senegal (CUP 1993).  She has also published articles and book chapters.  She currently serves as chair of the APSA organized section on Political Economy, member of the steering committee of the APSA's Africa Initiative, editorial board member for the Cambridge University Press African Studies and International Africa Institute book series, and is a member of the Social Science Research Council's African Peacebuilding Network.  She convenes the MSc program in Africa Development at the LSE.  Her current research asks about the effects of decentralized land administration and land titling in African countries with high levels of inequality and socio-political conflict around land.