Panel Paper: Subnational State Capacity and Violence in Mexico

Saturday, March 10, 2018
Burkle 12 (Burkle Family Building at Claremont Graduate University)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Alma A Bezares Calderon, Claremont Graduate University

State capacity is usually measured at the national level. However, it can also be recognized at the subnational level, particularly in federal states in which part of the powers are transferred from the central government to the subnational governments. This paper aims to measure state capacity at the subnational level in Mexico and observe how it relies on Weber's idea of “the monopoly of legitimate violence within a territory”. Mexico is a federal state characterized by a substantial divergence in capacity and levels of violence across subnational entities and thus represents an interesting case to explore. After conducting a multi-dimensional analysis of state capacity that includes both exploration of data and case-studies, I expect to find that state formation in Mexico is highly motivated by the monopoly of violence that the subnational state has over a given territory. I then look at the different implications that this has over economic and democratic development of the different regions within the country.