Robert Bates, Eaton Professor in the Department of Government, Harvard University
"This book is a masterpiece, which will consolidate Catherine Boone's standing among the topmost rank of practicing Africanists. The comparative scope, the field research in multiple countries, the thorough documentation on the others, and the coherence as well as the intellectual force of Boone's analytical framework all mark the work as a contribution that will be obligatory reading for comparativists. Boone's focus on the local and its relationship to the national is a valuable counterpoint to a number of recent political science treatises focusing on Africa. The differences of detail in the cases explored are fascinating, and Boone's interpretive schema impressively organizes them into a parsimonious explanatory frame."
M. Crawford Young, Professor Emeritus, University of Wisconsin, Madison
"The overarching argument of Catherine Boone's book is that land conflicts lie at the core of political competition in Africa. Land tenure is not an epi-phenomenon that political scientists (or others) can afford to dismiss. Land conflicts - and property - are at the heart of the structuration, and differentiation, of political institutions and governance in Africa. Moreover, even if attention seems to have shifted from rural to urban development in recent years, the book claims that civil conflict mainly takes place in the rural areas, and, as importantly, a major part of the electorate lives in rural areas, wherefore the connections between livelihood, property, tenure regimes, and political institutions are central for political analysis. This is the kind of text with which one would feel entirely comfortable on a syllabus. It is up to date, it is comprehensive, and the methodology is explicit and effective. I would definitely recommend it to students."
Christian Lund, Professor of Development, Resource Management and Governance, University of Copenhagen