US Electoral Assistance to El Salvador and the Culture of Politics, 1982–1984

  • Evan D. McCormick
Part of the Security, Conflict and Cooperation in the Contemporary World book series (SCCCW)


This chapter examines US involvement in the 1982 constituent assembly elections and 1984 presidential elections in El Salvador, with an emphasis on management procedures and technologies designed to legitimate the transition from military to civilian rule. Using newly declassified sources and interviews with previously unexamined actors, the chapter investigates the sprawling enterprise that US political intervention entailed, including a roughly $12 million effort to bolster the Salvadoran Central Elections Committee’s strategy for ‘purifying’ the vote with a digitized electoral registry and modernized means of fraud prevention. The chapter sheds new light on a crucial case study of the Reagan administration’s turn to democracy promotion while contributing new perspectives on how changing attitudes towards elections in US political culture were reflected in US electoral assistance programmes abroad.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Evan D. McCormick
    • 1
  1. 1.Postdoctoral Fellow at the Clements Center for National SecurityUniversity of Texas at AustinAustinUSA

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