||The recent replacement of authoritarian rule by democracy in both South Africa and El Salvador poses a puzzle: why did the powerful, anti-democratic elites of these countries abandon death squads, apartheid, and the other tools of political repression and take a chance on democracy? Forging Democracy From Below shows how popular mobilization--in El Salvador an effective guerilla army supported by peasant collaboration and in South Africa a powerful alliance of labor unions and poor urban dwellers--forced the elite to the bargaining table, and why a durable settlement and democratic government were the result.
"This analytically systematic study blends sound theory and fieldwork. It is an important testament to the utility of rigorous comparative analysis in advancing our understanding of democratic transitions in otherwise markedly dissimilar countries." International Journal of African History
1. From civil war to democracy: improbable transitions in oligarchic societies
Part I. El Salvador’s Path to Democracy: 2. From conservative modernization to civil war
3. The structural foundation of a pact: the transformation of elite interests
4. Negotiating a democratic transition to end civil war
Part II. From Racial Oligarchy to Pluralist Democracy in South Africa
5. Apartheid, conservative modernization, and resistance
6. The challenge to elite economic interests
7. From recalcitrance to compromise
8. The insurgent path to democracy in oligarchic societies
Epilogue: the legacy of democracy forged from below.
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