Constructing Civil Society, Supporting Local Development A Case Study of Community Radio in Postwar EI Salvador

Diana Agosta
The rural community radios created in EI Salvador at the end of the long civil war in the early 1990s have facilitated the growth of what is defined locally as civil society, influenced by a range of international discourses. This paper explores the particular meanings that "civil society" took on in these regions. It focuses on local organizations that represented many sectors of the public which had been invisible or marginalized from the public sphere in the past-campesinos, women, rural
more » ... l business. These participatory radios provided crucial ways for these organizations to reach their constituencies, enlarge them through promotion and educate and inform them in ways that reinforced and catalyzed their other efforts. The broadcasts strengthened civil society by helping these new social actors to emerge, bringing their views and issues to the forefront of the local public sphere and introducing them into national debates.