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Inequality and Political Cleavage in Africa

Regionalism by Design

Author(s): Catherine Boone

ISBN: 9781009441612
Publication Date: 25/4/24
Pages: 350
Format: Paperback
Regular price £29.99 GBP
Regular price Sale price £29.99 GBP

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This pathbreaking work integrates African countries into broader comparative theories of how spatial inequality shapes political competition over the construction of markets, states, and nations. Existing literature on African countries has found economic cleavages, institutions, and policy choices to be of low salience in national politics. This book inverts these arguments. Boone trains our analytic focus on the spatial inequalities and territorial institutions that structure national politics in Africa, showing that regional cleavages find expression in both electoral competition and policy struggles over redistribution, sectoral investment, market integration, and state design. Leveraging comparative politics theory, Boone argues that African countries' regional and core-periphery tensions are similar to those that have shaped national economic integration in other parts of the world. Bringing together electoral and economic geography, the book offers a new and powerful map of political competition on the African continent.

  • Identifies and analyzes the political effects of economic inequality in African countries
  • Compares electoral geography in African countries both cross-nationally and over time
  • Proposes a new theory of political competition in African countries