Civil society in a postwar period: Labor in the Salvadoran democratic transition

Tracy Fitzsimmons, Mark Anner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


This research note seeks to offer some resolution to the theoretical disagreements over how democratization affects civil society, specifically in a transition toward democracy that occurs through pacted settlements of an armed internal conflict. Using a comparative study over time of the labor movement in El Salvador, the authors demonstrate that while unions of the political center and left have weakened since the signing of the Salvadoran Peace Accords, independent labor groups show higher levels of organizing and right-leaning unions have maintained nearly constant levels of organizing. But the labor movement has become atomized because unions have been unable to redefine their once-common political goals to adopt other unified stances in the postwar period. The data show that the unions that have relinquished excessively politicized stances or never claimed them are the ones that survive and sometimes grow in the postwar environment. These findings have implications for the nature of the emerging Salvadoran democracy and the economic well-being of its citizens.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)103-128
Number of pages26
JournalLatin American Research Review
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • History
  • Development
  • Anthropology
  • General Arts and Humanities
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • General
  • Political Science and International Relations
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)
  • Literature and Literary Theory


Dive into the research topics of 'Civil society in a postwar period: Labor in the Salvadoran democratic transition'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this