His major teaching and research interests are in African politics, comparative politics, political culture, and qualitative methodology. His books include Political Legitimacy in Middle Africa: Father, Family, Food (Indiana University Press, 2001), The Dialectics of Oppression in Zaire (Indiana University Press, 1988), Politics and Class In Zaire: Bureaucracy, Business and Beer in Lisala (Holmes & Meier, Africana, 1980), and Mobutu or Chaos? The United States and Zaire, 1960-1990 (Foreign Policy Research Institute, 1991). He has also published articles in Politique africaine, Journal of Democracy, Africa, Comparative Politics,Journal of Modern African Studies, Afrika Spectrum and other professional journals. One current research project deals with the politics, economics, and culture of football (soccer) in sub-Saharan Africa, while a second explores trans-historical patterns of governance in Africa.
Michael G. Schatzberg,“Transformation and Struggle: Space in Africa,” in Till Förster and Lucy Koechlin, eds., The Politics of Governance: Actors and Articulations in Africa and Beyond (New York and London: Routledge, 2015), 25-51.