Blood and Debt: War and the Nation-State in Latin America / Edition 1

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Overview

What role does war play in political development? Our understanding of the rise of the nation-state is based heavily on the Western European experience of war. Challenging the dominance of this model, Blood and Debt looks at Latin America's much different experience as more relevant to politics today in regions as varied as the Balkans and sub-Saharan Africa. The book's illuminating review of the relatively peaceful history of Latin America from the late eighteenth through the early twentieth centuries reveals the lack of two critical prerequisites needed for war: a political and military culture oriented toward international violence and the state institutional capacity to carry it out. Using innovative new data such as tax receipts, naming of streets and public monuments, and conscription records, the author carefully examines how war affected the fiscal development of the state, the creation of national identity, and claims to citizenship. Rather than building nation-states and fostering democratic citizenship, he shows, war in Latin America destroyed institutions, confirmed internal divisions, and killed many without purpose or glory.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“However, Centeno’s path breaking book will stimulate a wealth of follow-on studies.”

—Robert Looney, Journal of Political and Military Sociology

David R. Mares
Centeno's critique of the argument that "war creates capable states" is convincing... Blood and Debt presents an interesting narrative about state development in Latin America.
Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
From the Publisher
“However, Centeno’s path breaking book will stimulate a wealth of follow-on studies.”

—Robert Looney, Journal of Political and Military Sociology

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780271023069
  • Publisher: Penn State University Press
  • Publication date: 1/23/2003
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 344
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Miguel Angel Centeno is Professor of Sociology at Princeton University. His Democracy Within Reason (Penn State, 1994; revised edition, 1997) was named an "Outstanding Academic Book" by Choice.

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Table of Contents

List of Figures
List of Tables
Acknowledgments
1 The Latin American Puzzle 1
2 Making War 33
3 Making the State 101
4 Making the Nation 167
5 Making Citizens 217
6 Wars and Nation-States in Latin America 261
Bibliography 281
Index 315
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