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Waves of Protest

Waves of Protest: Popular Struggle in El Salvador, 1925–2005

Paul D. Almeida
Volume: 29
Copyright Date: 2008
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 320
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  • Book Info
    Waves of Protest
    Book Description:

    Providing a compelling analysis of the massive waves of protests from the early twentieth century to the present in El Salvador, Paul D. Almeida fully chronicles one of the largest and most successful campaigns against globalization and privatization in the Americas. In doing so, he brings negative political conditions to the forefront as central forces driving social movement activity in the developing world.

    eISBN: 978-0-8166-5389-8
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. Acronyms
    (pp. xi-xxii)
  5. Introduction: El Salvador and Popular Mobilization in the Global South
    (pp. 1-10)

    The study of political movements expanded enormously over the past two decades. One explanation for this trend resides in a powerful set of theoretical tools that outline the general conditions in the political environment for social movement emergence, namely, resource mobilization and political process models of collective action. The tremendous impacts of social movement–type activities around the world in recent years (e.g., forcing democratic transitions and gaining new rights for previously marginalized groups) also serve as a major impetus to scholarship. The current round of global contention derives from a number of sources such as the new freedoms associated...

  6. 1 Liberalization, Intimidation, and Globalization
    (pp. 11-34)

    There is a growing recognition and consensus among social movement analysts that we lack a systematic understanding of popular contention processes beyond advanced industrialized democracies or in what is now commonly referred to as the global South. New interest in exploring collective action dynamics outside of core capitalist democracies leads students of collective action to a greater variety of political environments (Boudreau 1996;Osa 2001; Wiktorowicz 2001; Wickham 2002; Schock 2005). Indeed, the existence of mass-based movements under multiple types of regimes raises important questions in relation to conventional models of social movement emergence and mobilization.

    One particular subset of regimes...

  7. 2 Regime Openings and Violent Closings, 1925–62
    (pp. 35-69)

    A mass uprising in El Salvador in 1932 represents one of the largest revolts in Latin America during the Great Depression. The rebellion involved thousands of peasant and worker participants who attempted to occupy several towns in western El Salvador and take over key army barracks and National Guard posts. The massacre that followed serves as one of the greatest single acts of state repression and ethnocide witnessed in the Western Hemisphere in the past century (Monteforte Toledo 1972, 124).¹ The actions surrounding the upheavals of 1932 became firmly imprinted in Salvadoran political culture. The insurgent rebels and paramilitaries in...

  8. 3 Renewed Liberalization and Mass Mobilization, 1962–72
    (pp. 70-102)

    Between 1932 and the early 1960s, El Salvador’s military rulers restricted the political system to authoritarian governance. The military regime originated in the context of the 1932 peasant-worker uprising in the western coffee-growing departments. The security forces swiftly suppressed the revolt and carried out a massacre of a reported eight thousand to thirty thousand peasants and workers over a three-week period in retribution (known asla matanza). Followingla matanza, from the early 1930s to the early 1960s, civil society engaged only in sporadic outbreaks of urban unrest. Though at times popular contention attained sufficient levels to bring down the...

  9. 4 The State Giveth and the State Taketh Away (Again),1972–81
    (pp. 103-173)

    In the period from 1972 to 1976 military state managers abandoned the path toward democratization. Beginning in 1972, two key forces driving regime liberalization, institutional access, and the practice of competitive elections gradually shut down. These two processes effectively ended the 1967–72 reformist wave of social movement activity and dampened the level of popular contention between mid-1972 and 1976. However, the field of civic organizations created in the 1960s and early 1970s persisted and/or mutated. The remaining civil society associations shifted their goals and strategies as new repressive threats increased. By the end of 1976, these mounting threats literally...

  10. 5 Mobilization by Globalization: El Salvador under Neoliberalism
    (pp. 174-208)

    On October 23, 2002, an estimated two hundred thousand people in San Salvador dressed from head to toe in white apparel and/or body paint (to show their solidarity with the health care profession) participated in amarcha blanca(white march) against the privatization of the public health system (see Figure 37). It was the second such mass demonstration in a two-week period. In the following months, five additional multitudinousmarchas blancastook place along with highway sit-ins, labor and hunger strikes, and street actions in dozens of municipalities. State sector unions, NGOs, students, and oppositional party members provided the shock...

  11. 6 The Sequencing of Third World Struggle
    (pp. 209-218)

    For most of the twentieth century Salvadoran regimes (and many others in the developing world) oscillated between liberalization and authoritarianism. These shifts in state behavior and practices played a decisive role in shaping the levels and forms of collective action. In the first quarter of the twentieth century, El Salvador underwent a period of state consolidation and centralization while an agrarian planter class firmly structured the economy and infrastructure along agro-export lines as a major coffee producer. Only with the unprecedented political opening in the late 1920s, under a recently bureaucratized nation-state that possessed the administrative capacity and authority to...

  12. Appendix: Data and Methods
    (pp. 219-226)
  13. Notes
    (pp. 227-258)
  14. Works Cited
    (pp. 259-284)
  15. Index
    (pp. 285-296)
  16. Back Matter
    (pp. 297-298)