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date: 07 July 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article divides the history of the scholarship on state formation (SF) in Latin America into four waves, which began in the 1980s with narratives on the structural features of state apparatuses. A second wave, which took off in the 1990s, brings out the national, subnational, and local historical dynamics of SF. A third wave of recent works focuses on the historical roots of the bellic, administrative, and fiscal capacities of states in Latin America as unfavorably compared with those of early modern European states. The last section lays out the latest efforts to critically examine and reinterpret previous debates and findings and to go beyond them while incorporating the valuable information and insights they have accumulated over the years.

Keywords: Latin America, sociology, state formation, war, state capacities, early modern European states

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