Ben Cousin's research focus is on production, property and power in land and agrarian reform in southern Africa. His approach is interdisciplinary, drawing on theories, concepts and insights from anthropology, sociology, development studies, political studies, history, economics, law and environmental studies. The main body of scholarship that informs his work and to which he contributes is the political economy of agrarian change, but he also draws heavily on the anthropology of law and land tenure. His work focuses on three key issues: the politics and economics of land and agrarian reform (in particular on the role of small-scale agricultural producers within such reforms); legal recognition or formalisation of customary land rights; and the changing nature of rural social organisation and systems. The scope of his research extends beyond South Africa to Africa more broadly, with a particular focus on southern Africa.