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Vol. 32 Núm. 3 (2012)

Measuring state capacity in contemporary Latin America

diciembre 23, 2019


This paper builds a new measure of state capacity for application to contemporary Latin America which improves on existing indices in several ways. First, rather than using a single proxy, it combines multiple dimensions (extraction, security, and the administration of basic services) of the minimal or juridical state. Second, each dimension is measured with multiple indicators, which allows scholars to work around problems of subnational data availability. Third and most centrally, cases are scored using a new, reach-adjusted, population and territory-weighted approach, which provides the first systematic means of assessment of the power of the national state and its uneven reach across territory and into society and thus allows the empirical investigation of a crucial aspect of Latin American stateness.


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