States of Unrest: Critiquing Liberal Peacebuilding and Security Sector Reform in Post-Conflict Sierra Leone (2001-2012) and Liberia (2003-2013)

  • Author / Creator
    Dyck, Christopher B.
  • Drawing from original interviews, archival work and extended fieldwork (2011-2012), this doctoral dissertation comparatively examines the theory and practice of United Kingdom, United States and United Nations-led post-conflict peacebuilding and security sector reforms in Sierra Leone (2001-2011) and Liberia (2003-2013). Through an examination of specific post-conflict practices—disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration or “DDR” and security sector and military reform (SSR)—I demonstrate that these interventions were embedded within a macro-peacebuilding approach that was oriented for short-term problem-solving in support of an expedient rush to reconsolidate state authority followed by a statebuilding and capacity building process broadly in the mold of a “liberal peace”. The central argument presented in the dissertation is that external actors aimed to reconsolidate state authority during the immediate phase of post-war “peacebuilding” without problematising the nature of the African state in both societies and thereby undermining the long-term effectiveness of these interventions. Despite considerable western involvement over the past decade, the structural causes that led to these conflicts have been unaddressed and continue to persist in the so-called “post-conflict” period. The long-term effects of this strategy are explored in relation to the functioning of state power and its relations with civil society.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
    • Department of Political Science
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Keating, Thomas (Political Science)
    • Knight, W. Andy (Political Science)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Smith, Malinda S. (Political Science)
    • Adibe, Clement (Political Science, DePaul University)
    • Thompson, Guy (History)