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.
“Transformation and Struggle: Space in Africa,” in Till Förster and Lucy Koechlin, eds., The Politics of Governance (London: Taylor & Francis, 2015), 25-51.
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.
“The Structural Roots of the DRC’s Current Disasters: Deep Dilemmas,” African Studies Review 55:1 (April 2012), 117-121.
Les complexités de la « démocratie » : la Fédération ougandaise de football en tant que « polity », Politique africaine, no. 118 (juin 2010), 123-141.
“Ethnography and Causality: Sorcery and Popular Culture in the Congo,” in Edward Schatz, ed., Political Ethnography: What Immersion Contributes to the Study of Politics (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2009), 183-200.
Political Legitimacy in Middle Africa: Father, Family, Food (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2001).
“La sorcellerie comme mode de causalité politique,” Politique africaine, no. 79 (octobre 2000): 33-47.
“Hijacking Change: Zaire’s ‘Transition’ in Comparative Perspective,” in Marina Ottaway, ed. Democracy in Africa: The Hard Road Ahead (Boulder: Lynne Rienner, 1997), 113-34.
“Beyond Mobutu: Kabila and the Congo,” Journal of Democracy 8:4 (October 1997): 70-84.
“Postcolonial State: Central Africa,” in John Middleton, ed., Encyclopedia of Africa South of the Sahara, 4 vols. (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons Reference Books, 1997), 3:472-74.
“Zaire,” in Seymour Martin Lipset, ed., The Encyclopedia of Democracy (Washington, D. C.: Congressional Quarterly Books, 1995), 4:1 403-05.
“The Cultural Foundations of Power and the Present Political Transition,” in L’Afrique dans le monde: Actes du séminaire (Geneva: Centre de Recherches Entreprises et Sociétés and Espace Afrique, 1995), 55-61.
“Power, Legitimacy and ‘Democratisation’ in Africa” Africa 63:4 (1993): 445-61
“Zaire Under Mobutu: Consistencies and Contradictions of U.S. Policy,” in Friendly Tyrants: An American Dilemma, ed. Daniel Pipes and Adam M. Garfinkle (New York: St. Martin’s, 1991), 421-47.
Mobutu or Chaos?: The United States and Zaire, 1960-1990 (Lanham and Philadelphia: University Press of America and Foreign Policy Research Institute, 1991).
“Administration et oppression au Zaire: Une approche au niveau local,” in Pile et face: Bilan de la coopération belgo-zairoise (Brussels: La Revue Nouvelle and CNCD, 1989), 78-89.
“Military Intervention and the Myth of Collective Security: The Case of Zaire,” Journal of Modern African Studies 27:2 (June 1989): 315-40.
The Dialectics of Oppression in Zaire (Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1988; paperback edition, 1991).
“The Kenyan Bourgeoisie, External Capital, and the State: An Introduction,” in The Political Economy of Kenya, ed. M. G. Schatzberg (New York: Praeger, 1987), 1-13. (Co-authored, Gilbert M. Khadiagala and Michael G. Schatzberg)
The Political Economy of Kenya (New York: Praeger, 1987).
“The Metaphors of Father and Family,” in The Political Economy of Cameroon, ed. M.G. Schatzberg and I. W. Zartman (New York: Praeger, 1986), 1-19.
“Two Faces of Kenya: The Researcher and the State,” African Studies Review 29:4 (December 1986): 1-15.
The Political Economy of Cameroon (New York: Praeger, 1986). (Co-edited, Michael G. Schatzberg and I. William Zartman)
“Small Towns in Africa: Crucibles of State, Class, and Ethnicity,” Comparative Urban Research 10:2 (1985): 9-20.
“Introduction,” in The Political Economy of Zimbabwe, ed. M. G. Schatzberg (New York: Praeger, 1984), 1-7.
“Zaire,” in The Political Economy of African Foreign Policy: Comparative Analysis, ed. Timothy M. Shaw and Olajide Aluko (Farnsborough and New York: Gower and St. Martin’s, 1984), 283-318.
The Political Economy of Zimbabwe (New York: Praeger, 1984).
“Explaining Zaire,” African Affairs 82:329 (October 1983): 569-73. (Review Essay) “Le Mal Zairois: Why Policy Fails in Zaire,” African Affairs 81:324 (July 1982): 337-48.
“Ethnicity and Class at the Local Level: Bars and Bureaucrats in Lisala, Zaire,” Comparative Politics 13:4 (July 1981): 461-78.
“The State and the Economy: The ‘Radicalization of the Revolution’ in Mobutu’s Zaire,” Canadian Journal of African Studies 14:2 (1980): 239-57.
“The Chiefs of Upoto: Political Encapsulation and the Transformation of Tradition in Northwestern Zaire,” Cultures et développement 12:2 (1980): 235-69.
Politics and Class in Zaire: Bureaucracy, Business, and Beer in Lisala (New York and London: Africana Publishing Company, 1980).
“Conflict and Culture in African Education: Authority Patterns in a Cameroonian Lycée,” Comparative Education Review 23:1 (February 1979): 52-65.
“Blockage Points in Zaire: The Flow of Budgets, Bureaucrats, and Beer,” in Small Urban Centers in Rural Development in Africa, ed. Aidan Southall (Madison: African Studies Program, University of Wisconsin, 1979), 297-312.
“Islands of Privilege: Small Cities in Africa and the Dynamics of Class Formation,” Urban Anthropology 8:2 (1979): 173-90.
Bibliography of Small Urban Centers in Rural Development in Africa (Madison: African Studies Program, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1979).
“Fidélité au Guide: The J.M.P.R. in Zairian Schools,” Journal of Modern African Studies 16:3 (September 1978): 417-31.
“Soccer, Science, and Sorcery: Causation and African Football,” Afrika Spectrum 41:3 (2006): 351-369.
Sabbatical Leave, College of Letters & Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Honored Instructor Award, University Housing, University of Wisconsin-Madison
International Institute, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Faculty Contribution Grant for Outstanding Service to African Studies
Sabbatical leave, College of Letters & Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Glenn B. and Cleone Orr Hawkins Professorship, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Faculty Development Grant, Provost’s Office, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Vilas Associate, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Fellowship
National Endowment for the Humanities, Fellowship for Independent Study and Research
Council for the International Exchange of Scholars, Fulbright African Research Fellowship, (declined)
Excellence in Teaching Award, SAIS, The Johns Hopkins University
Peter Magowan Research Fund, Foreign Policy Institute, SAIS, summer research grant
Center for Programs in the Humanities, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, summer stipend (declined)
National Defense Foreign Language Fellow
Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Fellow
National Science Foundation Trainee