Obedecer y cumplir: Institutional reform and professional development within the Salvadoran armed forces

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


International Studies

First Committee Member

Enrique Baloyra, Committee Chair

Second Committee Member

Jaime Suchlicki, Committee Member


Throughout Latin America, armed forces have begun a process to disengage from political activity and return to their more traditional missions. This process, or demilitarization of society, has met with varying degrees of success. In most countries, the armed forces retain residual institutional influences, prerogatives and perquisites. In El Salvador, after 12 years of civil war, the establishment of democratic foundations and the installation of popularly-elected civilian governments have been promoted by reformist sectors of the armed forces eager to promote national reconciliation and development. Institutional reorganization and attitudinal changes have served to consolidate and strengthen newly-established democratic foundations in El Salvador. No other military institution in Latin America has renounced so many of its constitutional powers and privileges for the sake of the democratization process than the Salvadoran armed forces.


History, Latin American; Political Science, General; Sociology, Social Structure and Development

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