Professor Catherine Boone

Professor Catherine Boone

Professor of Comparative Politics (joint appointment with LSE International Development)

Department of Government

Telephone
+44 (0)2071075153
Room No
CON 6.04
Office Hours
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Languages
English
Key Expertise
Political Economy, Political Development, Property Rights, Africa

About me

Catherine Boone is Professor of Comparative Politics at the London School of Economics and Political Science in the Department of Government and the Department of International Development.  She holds a PhD in Political Science from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  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), Merchant Capital and the Roots of State Power in Senegal (CUP 1993), and many articles.  She convenes the MSc program in Africa Development at the LSE.  Her current research centers on questions of regional competition, market integration, and land politics in African countries, with attention to regional tensions fueled by economic inequalities and rising land conflict.  She is PI and project leader for the UK Economic and Social Research Council Project on "Spatial Inequalities in African Political Economy" (2018-2021).

Books

Property and Political Order: Land Rights and the Structure of Conflict in Africa
2014. Cambridge Studies in Comparative Politics, Cambridge University Press

This book argues that variation in the structure of land tenure institutions goes far in predicting differences in the forms and scale of resource conflict. Property institutions also help predict when and where land conflict will scale up into the national electoral arena, producing election violence.

Land tenure rules structure agrarian society and linkages to the state in the farming regions of Africa, producing forms of "political order" that are now being destabilized by population pressure, rising land values, and environmental stress.

Research interests

  • Political Economy
  • Political Development
  • Qualitative Methods
  • Property Rights
  • Africa

Teaching responsibilities

  • GV517: New Approaches to Comparative Political Economy
  • DV435: Political Economy of Africa
  • GV335: Political Economy, Africa

Selected publications

  • Property and Political Order in Africa: Land Rights and the Structure of Politics. Cambridge Studies in Comparative Politics, New York and Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014.
  • Political Topographies of the African State: Territorial Authority and Institutional Choice (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge Studies in Comparative Politics, 2003).
  • Merchant Capital and the Roots of State Power in Senegal, 1930-1985 (Cambridge University Press, 1993; 2006). Paperback edition, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge Studies in Comparative Politics, 2006.
  • "Legal empowerment of the poor through property rights reform: Tensions and trade-offs of land registration and titling in sub-Saharan Africa," Journal of Development Studies, Vol. 55:3 (March 2019).
  • "Shifting Visions of Property under Competing Political Regimes: Changing Uses of Côte d'Ivoire's 1998 Land Law," Journal of Modern African Studies, 56/2 (2018): 189-216.
  • Sons of the Soil Conflict in Africa: Institutional Determinants of Ethnic Conflict over Land," World Development, 96 (2017): 276-293.
  • "Captured Countryside: Spatial Patterns of Voting in Africa's SMD Elections," with Michael Wahman, Comparative Politics 50/2 (2018): 189-216.

My research