The Mestizo State: Violence and State Formation in Peru (1980 – 2000)
Turin Sanchez, Fernando E.
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The research I present in this thesis will analyze Peru’s statecraft process in the late 20th century (1980–2000). ). Scholars agree that the Peruvian state was about to fail due to the internal conflict that deepened the deterioration of the state capacity. The idea of failure was also associated with the explosive slum growth in the capital. Ironically the Peruvian state at a moment of ostensible weakness gained strength, and the negative attitudes toward the slums changed within that context. This paradox is what my research aims to address. This research builds on previous empirical studies and explores archival records from the Peruvian government regarding Lima’s slums growth, and the civil war. I also make the case for an alternative approach to state formation that can articulate both elite-centered and popular approaches. I argue that the Peruvian state approach toward the slums changed during the 1980s, because the slums of Lima had already acquired political agency. The long frictional urban progression of the slums of Lima changed the conversation of power and percolated social pressures in a time when “informality” had been incorporated into the neoliberal agenda and international developments trends. The change of attitude was due to a combination of these trends. Domestically the slum growth changed social practices and power dynamics that became visible during the internal conflict between the Peruvian government and Shining Path. These dynamics came at the time in which international narratives had incorporated “informality” into their global discourse.