Ainhoa Montoya is Senior Lecturer in Latin American Studies at the School of Advanced Study, University of London, UK. Her research focuses on post-conflict violence and conflicts over natural resources.
Her book-length monograph The Violence of Democracy: Political Life in Post-War El Salvador explores ethnographically how Salvadorans have made sense of a violent peace and the political life of their country in the context of a liberal market democracy. Based on research coinciding with the 2009 elections, the book demonstrates how various forms of violence have become entangled with democracy-related imaginaries and practices in post-war El Salvador.
Montoya’s current research examines how law is used by human rights and environmental defenders in the context of conflicts over mining in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. The goal of this research is to achieve an understanding of the relationship between the legal and the moral as it plays out in environmental politics. It has been funded with an ESRC Future Research Leaders Fellowship (2016-2018) and a British Academy Sustainable Development Programme award (2018-2020).
Montoya has also acted as an expert witness in asylum appeal cases in the UK involving Salvadorans. She is currently a co-editor of the Bulletin of Latin American Research, the journal of the Society for Latin American Studies, and a co-convener of the London-based Latin American Anthropology seminar