Research Seminar | Spatial Inequalities and Political Regionalism in African Countries
Existing literatures have found economic cleavages, institutions, and issue politics to be of low significance and salience in national politics in African countries. This work inverts these arguments, suggesting that the existing scholarship may not be looking in the right places to find economic cleavages, politically-impactful institutions, or salient issues. If we train the analytic focus on spatial inequalities and territorial institutions, then forms of regionalism and territorial-politics observed in spatially-divided countries around the work are also clearly apparent in Africa, often in the predictable issue areas of redistribution, sectoral policy, market integration, and state design. Political effects that earlier scholars have attributed to high ethnic heterogeneity or other features intrinsic to African societies may, when viewed in broader comparative perspective, be traceable to more generic structural-economic and institutional causes.
Catherine Boone is Professor of Comparative Politics at the London School of Economics and Political Science. She is a political scientist interested in patterns conducted research on industrial, commercial, and land tenure policies in West Africa, where her work has been funded by the SSRC, Fulbright, the World Bank, and the Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies, and the ACLS, and the Long Chair in Democratic Studies at the University of Texas at Austin.
During the course 2022-23, IBEI has organised a series of research seminars, which normally take place once a week. Check the 2022-23 programme