Crawling Towards Weber? Mexican State Capacity in the Nineteenth Century


  • Robin Grier Free Market Institute, Texas Tech University, USA


In this article, I investigate why it was so difficult for nineteenth-century Mexico to develop the institutions necessary for a modern state. Driven by regional warlords and bandits, the country suffered from persistent violence and disorder. Challenging geography and colonial legacies exacerbated the problem. I explore the efforts made by the Mexican government to establish control and the lessons these struggles offer for today's developing nations. By examining these historical dynamics, the Mexican example provides insights into why it is so difficult for developing nations to build effective state capacity and foster economic development.