This paper evaluates the current state of the literature on the sources of state-building in Latin America. The literature has grown to include a number of explanations rooted in the historical legacies of domestic political economy processes or external threat, most of which are considered in relative isolation from each other. The paper engages in comparative hypothesis testing in the attempt to resolve some of the debates within the comparative historical analysis research in the literature. The central explanatory variables are set within a multivariate framework in order to assess their relative explanatory power vis-à-vis each other and typical control variables for state-building outcomes. The results indicate that some of the existing explanations hold up in a multivariate statistical model, including some interpretations of bellicist theory, and those focused on centralization through urban primacy.
Journal of Historical Political Economy, Volume 2, Issue 1 Special Issue - Historical Persistence, Part II: Articles Overview
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