State Formation in the Liberal Era
Capitalisms and Claims of Citizenship in Mexico and Peru
Mexico and Peru are widely regarded as two great centers of Latin American civilization. In State Formation in the Liberal Era, a diverse group of historians and anthropologists from the United States, the United Kingdom, and Latin America compare how the two countries advanced claims of statehood from the dawning of the age of global liberal capitalism to the onset of the Cold War. Chapters cover themes ranging from foreign banks to road building and labor relations. The introductions serve as an original interpretation of Peru’s and Mexico’s modern histories from a comparative perspective.
Focusing on the tensions between disparate circuits of capital, claims of statehood, and the contested nature of citizenship, the volume spans disciplinary and geographic boundaries. It reveals how the presence (or absence) of U.S. influence shaped Latin American history and also challenges notions of Mexico’s revolutionary exceptionality. The book offers a new template for ethnographically informed comparative history of nation building in Latin America.
“State Formation in the Liberal Era is an exceptionally nuanced exploration of the uneven nature of nation making and economic development in Peru and Mexico from 1850 to 1950. It is a compelling account that transforms our understanding of postcolonial Latin America—of how competing and often contradictory forces simultaneously produced and tore new nations apart.”—Steve Striffler, author of In the Shadows of State and Capital: United Fruit, Popular Struggle, and Agrarian Restructuring in Ecuador, 1900–1995
“The book is…recommendable as a concise yet detailed overview of the history of Mexico and Peru from 1850-1950, and the section introductions would serve well for short background readings in university courses.”—Andrea Moerer, The Middle Ground Journal