The Turn of the Offended: Clientelism in the Wake of El Salvador’s 2009 Elections

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Montoya, Ainhoa (2015)
  • Publisher: Berghahn Journals
  • Subject: SAN | POL

Drawing on fieldwork in a Salvadoran municipio during and after the 2009 presidential elections, this article explores how the affective dynamics involved in elections and routine politics might inform us about the conditions of possibility for specific political imaginaries. Passions ran high among ordinary Salvadorans on both the left and right, as allusions to wartime unsettled political divisions and offences. For many disaffected Salvadorans, the victory of the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front—a former guerrilla organization—opened up a political horizon previously foreclosed during the post-war era. I show how ordinary Salvadorans’ post-election engagement with state officials and FMLN party leaders through clientelist practices evidenced their desire for qualitative state transformation, as well as the extent to which they conceive of themselves as citizens through the state.
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