Militarization and Demilitarization in El Salvador’s Transition to Democracy

Besides the larger interpretation of the Salvadoran military and its theoretical contributions, the book also contains significant empirical contributions. These include the provision of new materials for understanding the military's nationalist, modernizing, and reformist ideology and discourse, especially during the 1950s and 1960s. . . . Anyone interested in twentieth-century Salvadoran politics and history should read this book. Students of political transitions involving the demobilization of revolutionary armies and authoritarian military establishments will also find many useful insights in this work.
Journal of Developing Areas

With the resignation of General Renee Emilio Ponce in March 1993, the Salvadorian army’s sixty-year domination of El Salvador came to an end. The country’s January 1992 peace accords stripped the military of the power it once enjoyed, placing many areas under civilian rule. Establishing civilian control during the transition to democracy was no easy task, especially for a country that had never experienced even a brief period of democracy in its history.
Phillip J. Williams and Knut Walter argue that prolonged military rule produced powerful obstacles that limited the possibilities for demilitarization in the wake of the peace accords. The failure of the accords to address several key aspects of the military’s political power had important implications for the democratic transition and for future civil-military relations.
Drawing on an impressive array of primary source materials and interviews, this book will be valuable to students, scholars, and policy makers concerned with civil-military relations, democratic transitions, and the peace process in Central America.

256 Pages, 6 x 9 in.

October, 1997

isbn : 9780822956464

about the authors

Philip Williams

Philip J. Williams is professor and director of the Center for Latin American Studies at the University of Florida.

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Philip Williams
Knut Walter

Knut Walter is the author of The Regime of Anastasio Somoza, 1936-1956.

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Knut Walter