An earlier version of this essay was presented at the 2006 annual meeting of the American Political Science Association in Philadelphia. The authors wish to thank the participants on the panel, especially the discussant Will Reno and the chair Charles Tilly. Helpful assistance or comments were also provided by Pablo Beramendi, Richard Bodnar, Matthew Cleary, Elizabeth Cohen, Renée de Nevers, Danny Hayes, Thomas Keck, Sarah Pralle, Hans Peter Schmitz, and the anonymous reviewers of the journal. We thank the Department of Political Science at Syracuse University for financial support during the preliminary research. The usual disclaimers apply.
Tilly Tally: War-Making and State-Making in the Contemporary Third World1
Version of Record online: 9 APR 2008
© 2008 International Studies Association
International Studies Review
Volume 10, Issue 1, pages 27–56, March 2008
How to Cite
Taylor, B. D. and Botea, R. (2008), Tilly Tally: War-Making and State-Making in the Contemporary Third World. International Studies Review, 10: 27–56. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2486.2008.00746.x
- Issue online: 9 APR 2008
- Version of Record online: 9 APR 2008
Does the war-making/state-making thesis, most associated with Charles Tilly, apply in the developing world If so, how? This essay reviews the bellicist literature and offers an explanation for variation in state capacity among the most war-prone states in the developing world. We investigate the influence of war on state strength in two countries, Afghanistan and Vietnam. We examine three hypothesized causal mechanisms about how war contributes to state formation: raising money, building armies, and making nations. We find that war in Vietnam contributed to state-building, while war in Afghanistan has been state-destroying. There appear to be two main factors that contributed to state-making in Vietnam that were absent in Afghanistan: the existence of a core ethnic group that had served as the basis for a relatively long-standing political community in the past, and the combination of war and revolution, which inspired state officials and facilitated the promulgation of a unifying national ideology. Of these two factors, comparative data suggest relative ethnic homogeneity is the most important. Absent these specific conditions, war is more likely to break than make states in the contemporary Third World.