Introduction: State Creation and Democratization in Four American States—The Nature of the Problem
This book’s principal objectives are to address two interrelated questions: Why have certain states in the Americas been more successful than others at creating stable democratic regimes? Why have certain states in the Americas failed to create stable democratic regimes? To answer both questions, four cases are investigated: The United States, Argentina, Chile, and Peru.
The book is composed of six chapters. The introductory chapter discusses the intent of the book, the methodology used to analyze the cases, and the reasons such cases are studied instead of others. The chapter also summarizes the purpose of each chapter and some of the conclusions presented in the final chapter. Chapter 2 focuses on alternative theories of state creation and democratization, and how they may be related to both processes in the Americas. Chapter 3 discusses the conditions that affected the creation of the United States as a state and examines the slow process of democratization of its political regime. Chapter 4 conducts a comparative analysis of the state-creation and political regime–formation processes of Peru, Chile, and Argentina. Chapter 5 presents a detailed analysis, in the form of hypotheses, of the conclusions derived from the analysis of the state-creation and political regime–formation processes of Peru, Chile, and Argentina. Chapter 6 isolates the similarities and differences in the processes of state creation and political regime formation between the United States and its three Spanish American counterparts in order to postulate hypotheses designed to explain why some states in the Americas were faster and more effective than others at creating the state and democratizing its political system.
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