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Introduction 1. From civil war to democracy: improbable transitions in oligarchic societies Part I. El Salvador's Path to Democracy: 2. From conservative modernization to civil war 3. The structural foundation of a pact: the transformation of elite interests 4. Negotiating a democratic transition to end civil war Part II. From Racial Oligarchy to Pluralist Democracy in South Africa 5. Apartheid, conservative modernization, and resistance 6. The challenge to elite economic interests 7. From recalcitrance to compromise Conclusion 8. The insurgent path to democracy in oligarchic societies Epilogue: the legacy of democracy forged from below.