This book adopts a variety of disciplinary, thematic, and country-based approaches to the complex and contested issues around the character of the nation-state in Latin America. In recent years there has been a great deal of scholarly interest in this topic from the viewpoint of cultural and literary studies, but Latin America remains under-represented in general historical and sociological theories of nationhood. The authors seek to develop debate and research on the topic through case-studies (including Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Peru and Spain), historiographical review, and themes such as the role of violence, military conscription and pensions, money and the role of finance, early notions of development, the ambiguous role of liberalism, and how to evaluate the reach and qualities of the nation-state. Contributors include Miguel Angel Centeno (Princeton University), Malcolm Deas (St Antony’s College, Oxford), James Dunkerley (Institute of Latin American Studies, University of London), Paul Gootenberg (State University of New York at Stony Brook), Alan Knight (St Antony’s College, Oxford), Colin Lewis (London School of Economics), Fernando López Alves (University of California, Santa Barbara), David McCreery (Georgia State University), Florencia Mallon (University of Wisconsin), Seemin Qayum (Goldsmiths College, University of London), Guy Thomson (University of Warwick), and Steven Topik (University of California, Irvine). James Dunkerley is director of the Institute of Latin American Studies, University of London, and also professor of politics at Queen Mary, University of London. He is coeditor of the Journal of Latin American Studies. His most recent books are Americana:The Americas in the World, around 1850 (or ‘Seeing the Elephant’ as the Theme for an Imaginary Western) (2000) and Warriors and Scribes: Essays in the History and Politics of Latin America (2000).