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Neoliberal peace and the development deficit in post-conflict Sierra Leone


  • Ngambouk Vitalis Pemunta


Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to examine the structural factors responsible for why “donor darling” has not changed the pitfalls of stagnation and lifted post-conflict Sierra Leone out of poverty. Design/methodology/approach - The study adopts a bottom-up approach (“through the eyes of the poor”) and a combination of primary and secondary research methods – substantial desk research to investigate and review documentation related to the project and field interviews with development stakeholders at the national, district, and community levels with humanitarian aid workers, local civil society organisations, international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and national government officials. Findings - It is argued that aid without the necessary local institutional structure for effective coordination and stringent aid conditionality – and therefore narrow focus – has stifled sustainable socio-economic development initiatives. The international community's narrow definition and support for liberal peace, in tandem with the overarching neoliberal economic paradigm and failure to embrace an inclusivist approach to peacebuilding, has further stonewalled effective reconstruction, growth and development. Originality/value - The paper calls the attention of development NGOs to be self-reflexive, “wear native spectacles”, coordinate their actions and avoid “development as dependence”, by prioritizing what matters most to the beneficiaries of development. The basis of effective and sustainable socio-economic development is institutional building.

Suggested Citation

  • Ngambouk Vitalis Pemunta, 2012. "Neoliberal peace and the development deficit in post-conflict Sierra Leone," International Journal of Development Issues, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 11(3), pages 192-207, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eme:ijdipp:v:11:y:2012:i:3:p:192-207

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Surabhi Mittal & Deepti Sethi, 2009. "Food Security in South Asia : Issues and Opportunities," Development Economics Working Papers 22917, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
    2. Derek Headey & Shenggen Fan, 2008. "Anatomy of a crisis: the causes and consequences of surging food prices," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, pages 375-391.
    3. Pomerleano, Michael, 2009. "What Is the Impact of the Global Financial Crisis on the Banking System in East Asia?," ADBI Working Papers 146, Asian Development Bank Institute.
    4. Cummings, Ralph Jr. & Rashid, Shahidur & Gulati, Ashok, 2006. "Grain price stabilization experiences in Asia: What have we learned?," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 302-312, August.
    5. Byerlee, Derek & Jayne, T.S. & Myers, Robert J., 2006. "Managing food price risks and instability in a liberalizing market environment: Overview and policy options," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 275-287, August.
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