Nation-states and national states: Latin America in comparative perspective

  • Fernando López-Alves


What were the particularities of nation state making in Latin America? The article takes Tilly’s European-rooted definitions of the national state and the nation-state and applies them to Latin America. It argues that, in comparison to Europe, the region almost exclusively produced nation-states rather than national states or large powerful states that could rule over many nations. It also submits that in constructing an imagery of the nation Latin America, unlike Europe, placed an enormous emphasis on the future of the nation rather than on its past. In order to illustrate this last point, the paper makes brief comparison between Latin America and the United States.


National State National Identity European State Comparative Perspective National Community 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Global and International Studies Department of SociologyUniversity of CaliforniaSanta BarbaraUSA

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