John L Warfield Center

Workshop in African Studies: "Land and Politics in Contemporary Africa"

Fri, February 12, 2010 | ISESE Gallery/Warfield Center (Jester Center A232A)

3:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Workshop in African Studies

"Land and Politics in Contemporary Africa"

Catherine Boone, Professor of Government - University of Texas at Austin

Friday, February 12, 2010 - 3pm, ISESE Gallery/Warfield Center (Jester Center A232A)

In the still mostly agrarian countries of Sub-Saharan Africa, an average of 2-10 percent of all rural property is held under private title.  If land is not held as private property, then what is the nature of these property systems?  How (if at all) do they shape patterns of politics at local level, and the ways in which rural territories and populations are incorporated (or not) into national political systems?  This project uses the study of land-related conflict, a phenomenon described by land-rights lawyer Liz Alden Wiley as “reaching a crisis point in many parts of sub-Saharan Africa for similar historical reasons,” as a lens to examine broader questions about the relationships and institutions that structure politics in rural Africa.
"Professor Catherine Boone specializes in comparative politics, with an emphasis on theories of political economy and economic development.  She has conducted research on industrial, commercial, and land tenure policies in West Africa.  She is author of Merchant Capital and the Roots of State Power in Senegal, 1930-1985 (Cambridge, 1992), which was a finalist for the African Studies Association Herskovitz Award in 1993, and Political Topographies of the African State: Rural Authority and Institutional Choice (Cambridge, 2003), which was a finalist for the Herskovitz Award in 2004, a runner-up for the Luebbert Award in 2004, and winner of the Society for Comparative Research Mattei Dogan Award in 2005.  She is also the author of numerous articles, book chapters, and reviews.   Prof. Boone is a Founding Board Member, past Treasurer, and past President of the West African Research Association, which overseas the West African Research Center in Dakar, Senegal.  She currently serves on the Board of Directors of the African Studies Association.  She served as a member of the Africa Regional Advisory Panel of the Social Science Research Council (SSRC), as Secretary of the African Politics Conference Group, a research network affiliated with the American Political Science Association (APSA), and as member of the Executive Committees of APSA, Comparative Politics section of APSA, and the Comparative Democratization section of APSA.  She is currently a member of the International Dissertation Research Fellowship selection committee of the SSRC.  Her current research focuses on territorial politics and rural property rights in contemporary Africa."

Sponsored by: The John L. Warfield Center for African and African American Studies

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