‘A very timely work with an impressive empirical width, and a sharp, well-referenced analytical edge.’
Göran Therborn, author of Cities of Power
‘Subjects recent hype about the rise of the middle class in Africa to sceptical and critical analysis. An essential read for all engaging with the middle classes in development debate.’
Gordon Crawford, Coventry University
‘Intellectually ambitious and innovative... Timely and hugely relevant, it marks a leap forward in our understanding of the middle classes.’
Uma Kothari, University of Manchester
‘The first systematic examination of the concept of an African middle class. It provides a valuable conceptual discussion along with in-depth case studies.’
Dominique Darbon, Sciences Po Bordeaux
'A worthy addition to the landmark Africa Now series of books produced by Uppsala’s Nordic Africa Institute and Zed Books.'
Canadian Journal of African Studies
'This readable set of essays offers nuance throughout … the overarching theme that unites this collection is an original analysis of how to define, measure and understand the changing cultural, political and economic identity of those Africans in between the elites and the destitute.'
Journal of Southern African Studies
'The Rise of Africa’s Middle Class bursts with argument … is comprehensive in its review of the existing literature on the concept of the middle class, as well as its engagement with conventional definitions often used by economists. It goes beyond empirical data to offer theoretical reflections and perspectives of values.'
South African Journal of International Affairs
'Its combination of broader regional approaches and case studies from six countries provides an unprecedented overview of the relationships between contemporary economic, political and social circumstances and local constructions of class. … a valuable read.'
Journal of Modern African Studies
'Polemic, bold, engaging and an excellent read.'
African Studies Quarterly
'Sorting fact from fiction, Melber brings together experts and examines a variety of case studies. The end result is a much more nuanced analysis of Africa's middle class and a fresh look at societal transformations in contemporary Africa.'
'This is a much-needed addition to the literature on the
political mobilization of the middle class … the empirically rich insights into
diverse middle-class phenomena highlight the conceptual challenge of the