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Colonialism and Postcolonial Development


  • 10 b/w illus. 7 maps 18 tables
  • Page extent: 424 pages
  • Size: 234 x 156 mm
  • Weight: 0.72 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 325/.346098
  • Dewey version: 22
  • LC Classification: F1410 .M274 2010
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Spain--Colonies--America--Administration
    • Latin America--Colonization
    • Postcolonialism--Latin America
    • Comparative government--Latin America
    • Latin America--Foreign relations--Spain

Library of Congress Record

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 (ISBN-13: 9780521116343)

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In this comparative-historical analysis of Spanish America, James Mahoney offers a new theory of colonialism and postcolonial development. The book explores why certain kinds of societies are subject to certain kinds of colonialism and why these forms of colonialism give rise to countries with differing levels of economic prosperity and social well-being. Mahoney contends that differences in the extent of colonialism are best explained by the potentially evolving fit between the institutions of the colonizing nation and those of the colonized society. Moreover, he shows how institutions forged under colonialism bring countries to relative levels of development that may prove remarkably enduring in the postcolonial period. The argument is sure to stir discussion and debate, both among experts on Spanish America who believe that development is not tightly bound by the colonial past, and among scholars of colonialism who suggest that the institutional identity of the colonizing nation is of little consequence.


1. Explaining levels of colonialism and postcolonial development; 2. Spain and its colonial empire in the Americas; 3. Mercantilist colonialism; 4. Liberal colonialism; 5. Warfare and postcolonial development; 6. Postcolonial levels of development; 7. British and Portuguese colonialism; 8. Conclusion.

Prize Winner

Co-winner, 2010 David Collier Award, Consortium for Qualitative Research Methods, Qualitative and Multi-Method Research Section, American Political Science Association

Winner, 2011 Distinguished Contribution to Scholarship Book Award, Section on Political Sociology, American Sociological Association

Winner, 2011 Gregory Luebbert Best Book Award, Comparative Politics Section, American Political Science Association

Winner, 2011 Robert Jervis and Paul Schroeder Best Book Award, International History and Politics Section, American Political Science Association

Winner, 2011 J. David Greenstone Award, Politics and History Section, American Political Science Association Co-Winner, 2012 Faculty Book Award, Section on the Sociology of Development, American Sociological Association

Honorable Mention, 2012 Bryce Wood Book Award, Latin American Studies Association Honorable Mention, 2012 Barrington Moore Book Award, Section on Comparative and Historical Sociology, American Sociological Association

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