9293 - A Salvadoran Turnaround? The FMLN's Response to Citizen Security Needs

The paper explores whether there has been a paradigm shift in the public security policy in El Salvador under the FMLN government. The purpose of the thesis is to understand how the FMLN responds to the security needs of different groups in Salvadoran society, and what influences the process of security decision-making. Special attention is given to the role of the Police as the main state actor tasked by the policy makers with the provision of security for the Salvadoran society.

As a party in Government, the FMLN is forced to address issues of violence, crime and insecurity and claims to approach it differently from previous governments by applying a more comprehensive and long-term focused policy that includes measures for prevention, rehabilitation and support for victims. However, the daily continuation of violent incidents, the extensive coverage of these incidents in the media, public demands for immediate solutions and the vast spread of transnational criminal networks put enormous pressure on the Government. This thesis aims to explore what constitutes the FMLN’s approach to security and how much it does, or does not, differ from its predecessor. The study seeks to understand the political and societal dynamics in which the security decision-making process of the FMLN takes place. It is interested in the factors that influence the process and in comprehending how the Government perceives its responsiveness to provide security. The thesis asks whether the security policy aims to reconcile security and democratization, which, if it is the case, would mark a significant turnaround in the history of security provision in El Salvador.

The research focuses on two case studies of recent events that reveal the dynamics of security decision-making on the local and national level. Fieldwork is planned to be completed by April 2012 and first results can presumably be presented at the Conference.

Keywords: El Salvador, security decision-making, policing, FMLN

Author: Flaemig, Susan (University of Bradford, United Kingdom/Ver Königr)


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