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Vol. 32 Núm. 3 (2012)

Contested statehood and state-building in Haiti

diciembre 23, 2019


This article bridges global and Haiti-specific debates on statehood, the political economy of state and state (de)formation, as well as the conceptualization and
measurement of those phenomena. Drawing on data sets and secondary literatures from Haiti and beyond, it argues that despite the unique features of the extremely weak state in Haiti, that case can usefully be compared to the range of weak to fairly strong states in Latin America and the Caribbean. In the process, the article makes a case for considering degrees of sovereignty as an integral dimension of statehood in the region and elsewhere. It demonstrates the relevance of concepts used in other articles in this volume, such as ‘weakness by design’, in the Haitian case. The article ends by suggesting that it would be useful to look beyond neo-Weberian theories, for example by incorporating critical feminist analysis, to understand the different faces of state weakness and their social construction in the region.