Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

International Intervention and the Rule of Law after Civil War: Evidence from Liberia

May 16, 2018

"International Intervention and the Rule of Law after Civil War: Evidence from Liberia" by Robert Blair was published in SSRN on May 3, 2018.  The following is the abstract from the paper.

What are the effects of international intervention on the rule of law after civil war? Rule of law requires not only that state authorities abide by legal limits on their power, but also that citizens rely on state laws and institutions to adjudicate disputes. Using an original survey and list experiment in Liberia, and adopting multiple identification strategies to support a causal interpretation of my results, I show that exposure to the UN Mission in Liberia increased civilians’ reliance on state over non-state authorities to resolve the most serious incidents of crime and violence, and increased non-state authorities’ reliance on legal over illegal mechanisms of dispute resolution. I also find, however, that international intervention did not mitigate and may in fact have exacerbated citizens’ perceptions of state corruption and bias. I conclude by discussing theoretical and policy implications of these apparently contradictory effects.

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