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Civil Conflict, State Consolidation, and the Spread of Mass Education with Duke-UNC Latin American Politics Working Group

Speaker: Professor Agustina Paglayan
Date: February 24, 2021
Time: 12:00pm

Professor Agustina Paglayan from the University of California-San Diego will be presenting her paper titled "Civil Conflict, State Consolidation, and the Spread of Mass Education" for the Duke-UNC Latin American Politics Working Group (abstract below). The talk will be hosted via zoom on February 24th between noon-1:30 pm.
Please register here to attend: Once registered, you will receive details as to how to connect to the Zoom meeting.

Professor Paglayan has generously agreed to meet with students and faculty between 2-4pm via zoom. If you are interested in meeting Prof. Paglayan, please contact Nicolás de la Cerda ( We hope to see all of you there!

In many Western societies, mass education often expanded before democratization. Why did non-democracies expand mass schooling? This article develops a theory of education provision driven by civil conflict. Drawing on the history of Prussia, France, and Argentina, it argues that civil conflicts that made elites fearful of losing power helped crystallize elite support for mass education to promote social order through indoctrination. Consistent with this argument, difference-in-differences estimates document previously undetected pattern of primary education expansion following civil wars in Europe and Latin America. To better identify and explain the impact of civil conflict, the article exploits subnational variation in the exposure to the 1859 Chilean civil war. The analysis shows that following the war the central government expanded primary schooling in rebel provinces not as a concession but to teach obedience and respect for authority. The argument has implications for theories of education provision, state-building, and autocratic politics.

A copy of the manuscript can be found here.