The Violence of Democracy

Political Life in Postwar El Salvador

  • Ainhoa Montoya

Part of the Studies of the Americas book series (STAM)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvii
  2. Ainhoa Montoya
    Pages 1-37
  3. A Violent Democracy

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 39-39
    2. Ainhoa Montoya
      Pages 41-67
    3. Ainhoa Montoya
      Pages 69-95
    4. Ainhoa Montoya
      Pages 97-127
    5. Ainhoa Montoya
      Pages 129-164
  4. Toward Substantive Democracy

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 165-165
    2. Ainhoa Montoya
      Pages 167-199
    3. Ainhoa Montoya
      Pages 201-233
    4. Ainhoa Montoya
      Pages 235-247
    5. Ainhoa Montoya
      Pages 249-264
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 265-303

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

Authors and affiliations

  • Ainhoa Montoya
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Latin American StudiesUniversity of LondonLondonUnited Kingdom

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2018
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
  • eBook Packages Political Science and International Studies
  • Print ISBN 978-3-319-76329-3
  • Online ISBN 978-3-319-76330-9
  • About this book