About this book
This book offers novel insights about the ability of a democracy to accommodate violence. In El Salvador, the end of war has brought about a violent peace, one in which various forms of violence have become incorporated into Salvadorans’ imaginaries and enactments of democracy. Based on ethnographic research, The Violence of Democracy argues that war legacies and the country’s neoliberalization have enabled an intricate entanglement of violence and political life in postwar El Salvador. This volume explores various manifestations of this entanglement: the clandestine connections between violent entrepreneurs and political actors; the blurring of the licit and illicit through the consolidation of economies of violence; and the reenactment of latent wartime conflicts and political cleavages during postwar electoral seasons. The author also discusses the potential for grassroots memory work and a political party shift to foster hopeful visions of the future and, ultimately, to transform the country’s violent democracy.
Ainhoa Montoya is Lecturer in Latin American Studies and ESRC Future Research Leaders Fellow at the School of Advanced Study, University of London, UK.
Political violence Post-conflict society Democratization El Salvador Political anthropology Liberal market democracy