An interdisciplinary interrogation of the concept of British 'informal empire' in Latin America.
* Builds upon recent advances in the historiography of imperialism and studies of the nineteenth-century modern world, most obviously the work of Ann Stoler, Catherine Hall and C.A. Bayly
* Combines a comparative perspective with the juxtaposition of political economy, cultural history, gendered and postcolonial approaches
* By proposing and debating alternative explanatory models, the book breathes new life into the flagging concept of 'informal empire'
* Illuminates the study of British imperialism, from which Latin America is usually conspicuous only by its absence, and provides a broad and sound basis for interpreting the complex processes of nation-building and state-formation in Latin America
* Includes essays by scholars who have been shaping the debate for several decades, alongside work by a younger generation of researchers keen to re-conceptualise and re-assess the roles of commerce and culture in shaping informal empire