Armies without Nations: Public Violence and State Formation by Robert H. Holden

By Robert H. Holden

Public violence, a continual characteristic of Latin American existence because the cave in of Iberian rule within the 1820s, has been particularly trendy in vital the United States. Robert H. Holden indicates how public violence formed the states that experience ruled Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Linking public violence and patrimonial political cultures, he indicates how the early states improvised their authority via bargaining with armed bands or montoneras. Improvisation endured into the 20th century because the bands have been steadily outdated via semi-autonomous nationwide armies, and as new brokers of public violence emerged within the kind of armed insurgencies and loss of life squads. global struggle II, Holden argues, set into movement the globalization of public violence. Its such a lot dramatic manifestation in imperative the US was once the surge in U.S. army and police collaboration with the governments of the quarter, starting with the Lend-Lease software of the Forties and carrying on with during the chilly battle. even though the scope of public violence had already been verified through the folk of the critical American international locations, globalization intensified the violence and inhibited makes an attempt to scale back its scope. Drawing on archival learn in all 5 nations in addition to within the usa, Holden elaborates the connections one of the nationwide, local, and overseas dimensions of public violence. Armies with no Nations crosses the borders of primary American, Latin American, and North American heritage, supplying a version for the research of worldwide heritage and politics.

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Extra resources for Armies without Nations: Public Violence and State Formation in Central America, 1821-1960

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55  – Political alignments, therefore, were not so much ordered to either a liberal or a conservative party as such but to a range of factions whose ideological orientations were vague or largely irrelevant. Writing around , a prominent Nicaraguan from León who was known as a liberal noted, “It is true that the individuals who make up the parties will be either Conservatives or Liberals, because some kind of a name is needed in order to avoid confusion. But it made much more sense when they were called ‘culumucos,’ ‘chapiollos,’ ‘mechudos,’ ‘timbucos,’ ‘calandracas,’ ‘papirones,’ etc.

21 When the Honduran leader Policarpo Bonilla declared war on the government of Ponciano Leiva in , the violent extremism of his words belied the fact he and Leiva represented opposing factions of the same party. ’ . . ”22 Bonilla’s presentation of the conflict as leading inexorably to no more than two conceivable options—abdication or war—was the premise embedded in countless acts of public violence from the s to the s, and repeated in a hundred variations by their protagonists. As a rhetorical device, “no other option but war” seemed to achieve a special resonance and durability in Nicaragua.

47 Political banditry likewise illustrates the link between violence and patrimonialism. 48 Without a congruent ideology to which patrimonial political authorities could appeal in order to dissolve conflict, violence became the standard arbiter for the settlement of disputes, so much so that it came to nest “naturally” within liberal democratic constitutional shells. Elections themselves functioned as opportunities for patrons to display clientage and ultimately therefore appropriate occasions for martial engagements.

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