cover of book

The Rural State: Making Comunidades, Campesinos, and Conflict in Peru's Central Sierra
by Javier Puente
University of Texas Press, 2022
eISBN: 978-1-4773-2629-9 | Cloth: 978-1-4773-2628-2
Library of Congress Classification F3451.A5P84 2022
Dewey Decimal Classification 985


On the eve of the twentieth century, Peru seemed like a profitable and yet fairly unexploited country. Both foreign capitalists and local state makers envisioned how remote highland areas were essential to a sustainable national economy. Mobilizing Andean populations lay at the core of this endeavor. In his groundbreaking book, The Rural State, Javier Puente uncovers the surprising and overlooked ways that Peru’s rural communities formed the political nation-state that still exists today.

Puente documents how people living in the Peruvian central sierra in the twentieth century confronted emerging and consolidating powers of state and capital and engaged in an ongoing struggle over increasingly elusive subsistence and autonomies. Over the years, policy, politics, and social turmoil shaped the rural, mountainous regions of Peru until violent unrest, perpetrated by the Shining Path and other revolutionary groups, unveiled the extent, limits, and fractures of a century-long process of rural state formation. Examining the conflicts between one rural community and the many iterations of statehood in the central sierra of Peru, The Rural State offers a fresh perspective on how the Andes became la sierra, how pueblos became comunidades, and how indígenas became campesinos.

See other books on: Agriculture and state | Conflict | Indigenous peoples | Land reform | Peru
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