International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

War and State-Building in Ibero-America1: A Dialogue with Tilly and Centeno
Fernán E. González

The article discusses Miguel Ángel Centeno's attempt to apply Charles Tilly's model, based on the impact of interstate wars on the building of Western States to Ibero-American countries, where international wars have been rare and short, and whose results have not led to State centralization, but rather to "disastrous balances" between center and periphery. In response to this analysis, the paper complements Tilly's models with contributions by other authors such as Barrington Moore Jr., Theda Skocpol, Norbert Elias, Ernest Gellner, Philip Abrams, and Pierre Bourdieu. It also contrasts Centeno's approach to international wars with the wars of independence as a comprehensive approach to the role of wars, whether international or domestic, linking them to the tensions inherited from the Colonial period, as made evident by Colombia's civil wars. The conclusion is that it is not possible to consider currently existing States as entities that exist prior to the break with the Spanish Empire; rather, they must be seen as the products of that break.

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