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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Beyond ethnicity: the political economy of Liberia's civil wars
Author:Kieh (Jr.), George KlayISNI
Periodical:Liberian Studies Journal (ISSN 0024-1989)
Geographic term:Liberia
Subjects:civil wars
economic inequality
political economy
economic policy
Abstract:According to the principal argument of the ethnic paradigm that enjoys hegemony in the scholarly literature on civil wars, Liberia's two civil wars were caused by the State privileging the dominant Americo-Liberian stock and marginalizing the 16 indigenous ethnic groups in the case of the first war; and the State giving preferential treatment to the Krahn ethnic group and marginalizing the other ethnic groups in the case of the second civil war. The present paper contends that the ethnic paradigm does not adequately explain the root causes of Liberia's civil wars. Alternatively, the paper proffers a political economy approach. It argues that Liberia's civil wars were consequences of the crises of underdevelopment engendered by the country's authoritarian peripheral capitalist State. Specifically, the Liberian State was impregnated with these crises by the dynamics of the world capitalist system and the country's domestic political economy. Ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]