Published online by Cambridge University Press: 02 June 2022
The introductory chapter highlights the difficulty in engaging Latin American elites in the state-building enterprise, both historically and in the contemporary period, in spite of major crises. It introduces the puzzle by examining how the public-safety crisis in the region is different from previous patterns of violence: whereas historically business elites tended to benefit from state-led violence by eliminating competing political and economic projects, the new form of violence in democratic contexts affects them directly and more indiscriminately. Chapter 1 also discusses the stakes involved in successfully engaging elites in contemporary state building through taxation for public-safety purposes, as well as the book’s contributions to the literatures on state building, taxation, and public safety.
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