When do local communities benefit from natural resource extraction? In some regions of natural resource extraction, firms provide goods and services to local communities, but in others, protest may occur, leading to government regulatory or repressive intervention. Mines, Communities, and States explores these outcomes in Africa, where natural resource extraction is a particularly important source of revenue for states with otherwise limited capacity. Blending a mixture of methodological approaches, including formal modelling, structured case comparison, and quantitative geo-spatial empirical analysis, it argues that local populations are important actors in extractive regions because they have the potential to impose political and economic costs on the state as well as the extractive firm. Jessica Steinberg argues that governments, in turn, must assess the economic benefits of extraction and the value of political support in the region, and make a calculation about how to manage trade-offs that might arise between these alternatives.