State and Nation Making in Latin America and Spain
The growth of institutional capacity in the developing world has become a central theme in twenty-first-century social science. Many studies have shown that public institutions are an important determinant of long-run rates of economic growth. This book argues that to understand the difficulties and pitfalls of state building in the contemporary world, it is necessary to analyze previous efforts to create institutional capacity in conflictive contexts. It provides a comprehensive analysis of the process of state and nation building in Latin America and Spain from independence to the 1930s. The book examines how Latin American countries and Spain tried to build modern and efficient state institutions for more than a century – without much success. The Spanish and Latin American experience of the nineteenth century was arguably the first regional stage on which the organizational and political dilemmas that still haunt states were faced. This book provides an unprecedented perspective on the development and contemporary outcome of those state and nation-building projects.