Widespread support among rural people for the leftist insurgency during the civil war in El Salvador challenges conventional interpretations of collective action. Those who supplied tortillas, information, and other aid to guerillas took mortal risks and yet stood to gain no more than those who did not. Wood's rich tapestry of explanation is based on oral histories gathered from peasants who supported the insurgency and those who did not over a period of many years during and immediately following the war, and interviews with military commanders of both sides. Peasants supported the FMLN, Wood found, not for any material gain that was contingent on their participation, but rather for moral and emotional reasons. Wood's alternative model places emotions and morals, as well as conventional interests, at the heart of collective action.Read more
- The book combines an analytical approach to collective action with ethnographic materials gathered over many years
- The ethnographic material was gathered in contested areas during a bitter civil war
- Supporters of both sides were interviewed: peasants, landlords, military commanders, etc.
Reviews & endorsements
'Elisabeth Jean Wood's Insurgent Collective Action and Civil War in El Salvador is a scholastic tour de force that can, on the one hand, be described as the latest addition to that canon of classic works seeking to explain peasant insurgency, while on the other as offering a radical and novel account of campesino motivations … detailed and comprehensive … novel and innovative … Her conclusions open a new chapter in the study of peasant rebellion.' Latin American Review of Books
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- Date Published: October 2003
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9780521010504
- length: 332 pages
- dimensions: 229 x 152 x 23 mm
- weight: 0.52kg
- contains: 21 b/w illus. 17 maps 1 table
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
List of illustrations and tables
Preface and acknowledgments
List of abbreviations
1. The puzzle of insurgent collective action
2. Ethnographic research in the shadow of civil war
3. Redrawing the boundaries of class and citizenship
4. From political mobilization to armed insurgency
5. The political foundations of dual sovereignty
6. The re-emergence of civil society
7. Campesino accounts of insurgent participation
8. Explaining insurgent collective action
Epilogue: legacies of an agrarian insurgency
Appendix: A model of high-risk collective action by subordinate social actors
Chronology of El Salvador's civil war
List of references.
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