Looking for an examination copy?
If you are interested in the title for your course we can consider offering an examination copy. To register your interest please contact email@example.com providing details of the course you are teaching.
State Building in Latin America diverges from existing scholarship in developing explanations both for why state-building efforts in the region emerged and for their success or failure. First, Latin American state leaders chose to attempt concerted state- building only where they saw it as the means to political order and economic development. Fragmented regionalism led to the adoption of more laissez-faire ideas and the rejection of state- building. With dominant urban centers, developmentalist ideas and state-building efforts took hold, but not all state-building projects succeeded. The second plank of the book's argument centers on strategies of bureaucratic appointment to explain this variation. Filling administrative ranks with local elites caused even concerted state-building efforts to flounder, while appointing outsiders to serve as administrators underpinned success. Relying on extensive archival evidence, the book traces how these factors shaped the differential development of education, taxation, and conscription in Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru.Read more
- Explores both why national leaders pursue building state capacity, and the factors determining whether those efforts succeed or fail
- Provides an extensive historical data collection on education, taxation, conscription, and local administration in four Latin American countries
- Combines ideational, geographic, and institutional theory into a unified account
Reviews & endorsements
"State Building in Latin America can only be described as a magisterial book. Soifer provides both a rich theoretical explanation for why states develop or not and then presents a wealth of data to support his claims. Bringing in the political origins and consequences of bureaucratic recruitment links it to the best work in a Weberian tradition. Important for both those interested in state development and students of the region."
Miguel Angel Centeno, Princeton University, New JerseySee more reviews
"The biggest obstacle to public goods delivery around the world is not authoritarianism but state weakness. In a model example of comparative-historical social science, Hillel Soifer traces subtle contemporary variations in Latin American state capacity to fascinatingly divergent historical constellations of political geography, ideology, and strategy. Buoyed by original theorizing and buttressed by a wealth of qualitative and quantitative evidence, State Building in Latin America is a book that will last."
Dan Slater, University of Chicago
"This book is a major contribution to our understanding of state-building in Latin America. Soifer shows, as no one else has, that state-building outcomes depended on both early decisions to build the state and the fate of these efforts when undertaken. The explanation neatly combines factors emphasizing ideology and political choices with those stressing the centrality of urban centers during the liberal era. The overall account offers powerful generalizations while simultaneously remaining sensitive to the particularities of state building in Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru."
James Mahoney, Gordon Fulcher Professor in Decision-Making, Northwestern University, Illinois
"Variations in state capacity in Latin America boil down to whether state agents, charged with implementing state policy, are recruited centrally and deployed rather than delegated or recruited among local elites. This, in short, is the argument that Temple University political scientist Hillel David Soifer puts forward in State Building in Latin America, an ambitious, wide-ranging, and well-written book."
Paulo Drinot, Current History
Not yet reviewed
Be the first to review
Review was not posted due to profanity×
- Date Published: October 2016
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9781107518407
- length: 324 pages
- dimensions: 230 x 153 x 18 mm
- weight: 0.5kg
- contains: 39 b/w illus. 29 tables
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
Introduction: the origins of state capacity in Latin America
1. The emergence of state-building projects
2. A theory of state-building success and failure
3. Alternative historical explanations and initial conditions
4. State projects, institutions, and educational development
5. Political costs, infrastructural obstacles, and tax state development
6. Local administration, varieties of conscription, and the development of coercive capacity
Sorry, this resource is locked