Liberia and the History of a Franchised State

  • Niels Nagelhus Schia
Part of the Rethinking Peace and Conflict Studies book series (RCS)


This chapter chronicles the war in Liberia, describes the historical trajectory of the Liberian state, and notes some distinct features, like shadow structures, as well as the Liberian state or executive branch of government as both client and patron at the same time. These aspects are central for understanding how and why the Liberian state—as represented by elites—is honed to be a client of international organizations and donor states. More specifically the chapter analyzes the formation of the state and the bureaucracy in Liberia as a process where state mechanisms and apparatuses had been honed and adjusted vis-à-vis external actors during almost the entire nineteenth century as well as throughout the twentieth century. The UN’s engagement could be seen as a continuation of this pattern. It became possible to analyze this dynamic as a reproduction of older patrimonial patterns shaped through the particular historical trajectory of Liberia. Thus, the chapter provides the background for understanding the how and the why also today. This will also be further explored in the following empirical chapters.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Niels Nagelhus Schia
    • 1
  1. 1.NUPIOsloNorway

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