Chris Huggins published “Agricultural Reform in Rwanda”

Posted on Sunday, October 1, 2017

Book cover: Agricultural Reform in Rwanda- Authoritarianism, Markets and Zones of Governance

Professor Chris Huggins published Agricultural Reform in Rwanda- Authoritarianism, Markets and Zones of Governance through University of Chicago press.


International observers have lauded Rwanda as an example of an African country that has taken control of its own development trajectory, and thus as a market-friendly destination for investment. A key component of this has been an ambitious program of agricultural reform, involving private firms, NGOs, and international charities. The Rwandan government claims these reforms have been a resounding success, tripling crop yields and helping to combat hunger. But, as Chris Huggins argues, Rwanda’s liberal, modern image sits poorly beside the regime’s continuing authoritarian tendencies.
Featuring in-depth case studies of the effects of agricultural reform in three different regions, and drawing on hundreds of interviews, Huggins shows that the much-vaunted liberalization of agriculture has, in fact, depended on the coercion of Rwandan farmers, and in many cases has had a detrimental impact on their livelihoods. With the Kagame regime now coming under increasing international scrutiny, this work provides a timely look at the impact of this contradictory market-friendly authoritarianism in contemporary Africa, which will be of interest to students and scholars of development in the fields of sociology, anthropology, political science, and economics.

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