Beth Rabinowitz, Coups, Rivals, and the Modern State: Why Rural Coalitions Matter in Sub-Saharan Africa. Cambridge University Press, April 2018.
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Beth Rabinowitz.Defensive Nationalism: Where Populism Meets Nationalism.”  Nationalism and Ethnic Politics, February 2022.

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Beth Rabinowitz. “Ethnicity and Power in sub-Saharan Africa: Do Colonial Institutions Still Matter?” Journal of Comparative Politics, April 2020.
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Beth Rabinowitz. “More than Elections: Rural Support and Regime Stability in Africa.” African Studies Review 61, no. 3 (2018): 27-52.

Beth Rabinowitz, and Paul Jargowsky. “Rethinking coup risk: Rural coalitions and coup-proofing in sub-Saharan Africa.” Armed Forces & Society 44.2 (2018): 322-346.


“Why now? Understanding the Spread of Populism and Nativism in the 21st Century”

“Political vs. Power Consolidation: a New Typology of Neopatrimonial Rule.”


“Nationalism and Populism at the Turn of the Century: Technological Revolution, Globalization and Anti-Liberal Backlashes”

This study is a response to current events in the USA and Europe. Given my knowledge and interest in ethnic politics and nationalism, I became alarmed in 2016 by the surge of right-wing nationalism sweeping across the developed world. This analysis seeks to unearth the deep rooted structural conditions that are driving these socio-political changes.

“The Secret to State Success: Rural Elites in the Making of the Post-Colonial State”

This study builds off of my first book. I take the concepts and methodology I used to study state development in sub-Saharan Africa and apply them to Latin America, Asia, and the Middle East. As in my first book, my hypothesis is that for a state to develop there has to be extensive investment in infrastructure. But a regime that fears rivals in peripheral regions is unlikely to build roads to connect the interior to the urban center or electrify the countryside and thereby create the conditions for national economic development. To undertake such important infrastructural projects, the state needs to consolidate political control over the territory. Therefore, policies that allow the center to politically incorporate the rural periphery are key to development and political stability

This study, accordingly, examines how “weak states” successfully incorporate “strong societies” (Migdal 1988). I posit that, across regions, the heads of state that have strategically gained the political support of the peasantry and skillfully managed the authority and influence of powerful rural elites (the landed gentry, customary/tribal chiefs, religious leaders) are the ones that have achieved greater political stability and, hence, have been better able to develop their economies. The study, thus, revisits theories of “modernization” and development. Historically, modernization was understood as a process of urbanization and industrialization (Rostow 1959). Just as political stability had been assumed to be contingent upon gaining the support of urban rather than rural constituents (Bates 1981; Lipset 1959), state and economic development was deemed to be driven in response to urban interest groups and focused on urban and industrial development. As a result, even today, little attention has been paid to what kinds of rural policies might influence these outcomes. My hypothesis is that economic/state development has actually been predicated in large part on the capacity of regimes to develop critical rural alliances. The central project is to see how rural policies relate to development.


African Miracle, African Mirage: Transnational Politics and the Paradox of Modernization in Ivory Coast. By Abu B. Bamba, Ohio University Press, 2016. In International Journal of African Historical Studies, forthcoming 2018.

Seizing Power: Seizing power: The strategic logic of military coups. By Naunihal Singh, JHU Press. 2014. In Strategy Bridge, May 29, 2019
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Chancellor’s Awards for Outstanding Research and Creative Activity, Rutgers–Camden, 2019

Nomination for American Political Science Association’s Gabriel Almond Award for best dissertation in Comparative Politics, 2015