Boom, Bane, or Business as Usual? Perceptions of Economic Trends in Liberia after Peacekeeping Exit

Thu 10 Jun 2021 8:00pm

Join the Asia Pacific Centre for the Responsibility to Protect for a discussion of new research on the legacies of peacekeeping missions.

Existing studies show that the deployment of a multidimensional peacekeeping operation (PKO) can provide an economic boost to the host state and its population. Those studies also argue that such a boost is unsustainable and that peacekeeping exit may trigger economic downturn. If that is the case, however, will some individuals feel the adverse economic effects of PKO exit more than others?

In this seminar, Dr John Gledhill and Dr Sabrina Karim will argue that individuals whose incomes had come to depend on the ‘peacekeeping economy’ are particularly likely to experience any negative economic effects of PKO exit; however, those effects will be mitigated when individuals manage to diversify their incomes and/or have access to new sources of outside support after the exit of peacekeepers. This argument is tested on data gathered from qualitative interviews and a large-scale household survey of Monrovia, Liberia, conducted in early 2020. After noting an overall downturn in Liberia’s economy since 2018 (when the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) closed), the data shows that variation in the impact of that downturn on individuals is indeed related to their levels of engagement with the peacekeeping economy while the UNMIL was present and their access to mitigation measures after PKO exit

This study forms part of a multi-partner, collaborative research project titled: ‘After Exit: Assessing the Consequences of United Nations Peacekeeping Withdrawal’. Further details of the project can be found here.

Dr John Gledhill, University of Oxford

John Gledhill is Associate Professor of Global Governance in Oxford's Department of International Development, and a Fellow of St Cross College. In his research, writing, and teaching, John investigates diverse themes of peace and conflict, including peacekeeping and peacebuilding, conflict processes, state formation and dissolution, and (transnational) social mobilisation.

Dr Sabrina Karim, Cornell University 

Sabrina Karim is an Assistant Professor in the department of Government at Cornell University. Her research focuses on conflict and peace processes, particularly state building in the aftermath of civil war

Professor Alex Bellamy  

Director of the Asia Pacific Centre for the Responsibility to Protect and Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies at The University of Queensland.

Event Information:

The seminar will be 1 ½ hours on 10 June, 2021, commencing at the following times:

Brisbane: 8:00 pm.

Dhaka: 4:00 pm.

Bangkok / Phnom Penh / Jakarta: 5:00 pm.

Singapore / Manila /Beijing: 6:00 pm.

The seminar will be conducted via Zoom, and you can register for it by clicking here or by using the button above.