«Leveraging the results of recent LSE-funded pilot project on land law reform in Kenya since 2013, this project seeks to understand the effects of spatial (regional) inequalities on political struggles over the commodification of land in African countries. Less than 10% of all agricultural and pastoral land in sub-Saharan African countries is held under private title. How do we understand relations of property and production on the remaining 90%, and what political dynamics surround the current push by many national governments and international actors to register and title “all land” within the next decade or two? We frame the problem of land law reform as one of redistributive politics in territorially-fragmented polities and develop an analytic strategy that draws upon research on the politics of social entitlements in developed and developing countries.»


Catherine Boone

Lisbon 2017@CEsA/CSG/ISEG

Book by Catherine Boone:  Property and Political Order in Africa: Land Rights and the Structure of Politics (2014)

«In sub-Saharan Africa, property relationships around land and access to natural resources very across localities, districts, and framing regions. These differences produce patterned variations in relationships between individuals, communities, and the state. This book captures these patterns in an analysis of structure and variation in rural and tenure regimes. In most farming ares, state authority is deeply embedded in land regimes, drawing farmers, ethnic insiders and outsiders, lineages, villages, and communities into direct and indirect relationships with political authorities at different levels of the state apparatus. The analysis shows how property institutions - institutions that define political authority and hierarchy around land - shape dynamics of great interest to scholars of politics, including the dynamics of land-related competition and conflict, territorial conflict, patron-client relations, electoral cleavage and mobilization, ethnic politics, rural rebellion, and the localization and "nationalization" of political competition.» (synopsis in Cambridge University Press edition)


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Professor of Comparative Politics at Departments of Government and International Development, London School of Economics and Political Science.