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International observers have lauded Rwanda as anexample of an African country taking control of its own development trajectory, and as a market-friendly destination for investment. A key component of this narrative has been an ambitious programme of agricultural reform, involving privatefirms, NGOs, and international charities. The Rwandan government claims thesereforms have been a resounding success, tripling crop yields and helping to combathunger.Chris Huggins argues, however, that Rwanda's liberal, modernising image sits poorly with the regime's continuing authoritariantendencies. Featuring in-depth case studies of the effects of agriculturalreform in three different regions, and drawing on hundreds of interviews, Huggins shows that the much-vaunted 'liberalization' of agriculture has in factdepended on the coercion of Rwandan farmers, and in many cases has had adetrimental impact on their livelihoods.
With the Kagame regime now coming underincreasing international scrutiny, this work provides a timely look at theimpact of 'market friendly authoritarianism' in contemporary Africa, makingessential reading for students and scholars of development in the fields ofsociology, anthropology, political science, and economics.