The Turn of the Offended

Clientelism in the Wake of El Salvador's 2009 Elections

in Social Analysis

This article explores how the affective dynamics involved in elections and routine politics might inform us about the conditions of possibility of specific political imaginaries. It builds upon research conducted during and after El Salvador's 2009 presidential election. Passions ran high among Salvadorans on both the left and the right that electoral season, as allusions to wartime elicited unsettled divisions and offenses. For many left-wing and disaffected Salvadorans, the victory of the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front—a former guerrilla organization—opened up a political horizon that had been closed during the post-war era. Salvadorans' post-election engagement with state officials and FMLN leaders through clientelist practices evidenced their desire for qualitative state transformation and the extent to which they conceive of themselves as citizens through the state.

Social Analysis

The International Journal of Anthropology