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

89 Pages Posted: 3 May 2018 Last revised: 29 Oct 2018

See all articles by Robert Blair

Robert Blair

Brown University; Brown University - Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

Date Written: October 28, 2018

Abstract

What are the effects of international intervention on the rule of law after civil war? Rule of law re- quires 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, I show that exposure to the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) increased citizens’ 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 use multiple identification strategies to support a causal interpretation of these results, including an instrumental variables strategy that leverages plausibly exogenous variation in the distribution of UNMIL personnel induced by the killing of seven peacekeepers in neighboring Cote d’Ivoire. My results are still detectable two years later, even in communities that report no further exposure to peacekeepers. I also find that exposure to UNMIL did not mitigate and may in fact have exacerbated citizens’ perceptions of state corruption and bias in the short term, but that these apparently adverse effects dissipated over time. I conclude by discussing implications of these complex but overall beneficial effects.

Keywords: Peacekeeping, Peacebuilding, Statebuilding, Rule of Law, List Experiments, Sub-Saharan Africa

JEL Classification: D74, K42, O17, P48

Suggested Citation

Blair, Robert, International Intervention and the Rule of Law after Civil War: Evidence from Liberia (October 28, 2018). Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs Research Paper No. 2018-39. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3163875 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3163875

Robert Blair (Contact Author)

Brown University ( email )

Box 1860
Providence, RI 02912
United States

Brown University - Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

111 Thayer Street
Box 1970
Providence, RI 02912-1970
United States

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