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Structuring the State:
The Formation of Italy and Germany and the Puzzle of Federalism
Daniel Ziblatt

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"This is the most important book on state-building to appear in recent years. In addition to offering the definitive account of Italy's and Germany's creation, Ziblatt's work also sets the agenda for future scholarship on the comparative study of federalism. Rich narrative combined with theoretical sophistication bring new life to a very important set of debates about the origins of federalism and nation-states more broadly. This work should be read by specialists of Italian and German political development and comparative politics and by students of political institutions more broadly."--Sergio Fabbrini, Political Science, University of Trento, editor of Italian Journal of Political Science

"With calm, knowledgeable precision, Daniel Ziblatt wades into the adjacent swamps of federalism and nineteenth-century European history, emerging with hands full of gems. Beneath the tangle of great statesmen and national culture he discovers conflicting regional political interests, sharp regional variations in political capacity, fearful defenses against excessive democracy, coercive conquest of weak states, and unintended consequences galore. Read, think, and learn."--Charles Tilly, Columbia University

"A work of the highest quality and significance, Structuring the State represents an original contribution to both political science and macrohistorical sociology for three reasons. First, it applies a variety of quantitative methods to the kind of comparative historical problem that is usually approached in an entirely qualitative way. Second, it overcomes the old division between society- and state-centered explanations for Italian and German unification by integrating them in a creative manner, while also pointing to other factors often overlooked in standard accounts. Finally, it challenges directly the dominant rational choice model of federalism by refuting the contention that politicians at the center are always power maximizers."--Thomas Ertman, New York University, author of Birth of the Leviathan: Building States and Regimes in Medieval and Early Modern Europe

"In Structuring the State, Daniel Ziblatt contends that previous scholarship in political science has overlooked a key determinant of state structure, namely the pre-existing administrative and institutional capacity in newly absorbed states. Well-organized, well written, and employing the most advanced methods of comparative-historical research in a sophisticated and clear fashion, the book moves forward with clarity and grace. Political scientists, sociologists, and historians working on the development of modern organizations--and indeed policy makers interested in building state capacity--will all learn from this timely volume."--Andrew C. Gould, University of Notre Dame, author of The Origins of Liberal Dominance: State, Church, and Party in Nineteenth-Century Europe

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File created: 4/21/2017

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