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Latecomer State Formation

Political Geography and Capacity Failure in Latin America

Sebastian Mazzuca



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Yale University Press
13 July 2021
Latin American governments systematically fail to provide the key public goods for their societies to prosper. Sebastian Mazzuca argues this is because nineteenth-century Latin American state formation occurred in a period when commerce, rather than war, was the key driver forging countries. Latin American leaders pursued the benefits of international trade at the cost of long-term liabilities built into the countries they forged, notably patrimonial administrations and dysfunctional regional combinations.
By:   Sebastian Mazzuca
Imprint:   Yale University Press
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 24mm,  Width: 16mm,  Spine: 2mm
Weight:   680g
ISBN:   9780300248951
ISBN 10:   0300248954
Pages:   464
Publication Date:   13 July 2021
Audience:   Professional and scholarly ,  Undergraduate
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Sebastian Mazzuca is assistant professor of political science at Johns Hopkins University. His research and teaching focus on the political economy of development, democratization, and state formation.

Reviews for Latecomer State Formation: Political Geography and Capacity Failure in Latin America

This book delivers what Max Weber never did-an empirically convincing positive theory of state formation. You'll never think about Latin America in the same way again. -James A. Robinson, University of Chicago In this dazzling and conceptually innovative book, Mazzuca distills the core logic of state formation in Latin America. Latecomer State Formation illuminates how global historical forces shape the very size and capacity of modern states. Magisterial and incisive, it is indispensable reading for any comparative scholar of state-building in the post-colonial world. -Maya Tudor, University of Oxford Each page explodes with intellectual energy and new insights. It teaches a profound lesson: forming a state is not the same as state-building. Historically rich and conceptually innovative, this is the best book I have read on state-building in over a decade. -Daniel Ziblatt, Harvard University Trade makes states, but it makes weaker states than war. Mazzuca sheds new light on why Latin American politicians formed states that were territorially solid yet institutionally incapable. In our collective quest to understand non-European states, Mazzuca's far-reaching study helps us draw lessons from Latin America as much as from Europe. -Dan Slater, University of Michigan An extraordinarily interesting book about a central theme in social science and history: how states are created and how they become effective. The book combines deep and broad historical research on Latin America with major conceptual and theoretical innovations. -Scott Mainwaring, University of Notre Dame

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