How Liberal Peacebuilding May be Failing Sierra Leone

The concept of security is the driver for peacebuilding and development, as well as social and political change in post-conflict countries. A review and analysis of three key government documents indicates that, in Sierra Leone, securitisation discourse is embedded in both the political economy discourse of the state and in the popular imagination. The Security Sector Review equates security and peace while the country’s Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper sees security as a driver for change. The 2006 Work Plan of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security illustrates the extent to which the work of ministries is security-based. Sierra Leone’s political economy of post-conflict peacebuilding favours macro-economic security that is to trickle down into social and political peace. Discourse analysis shows that, framed within security parameters, post-conflict peacebuilding is meant to have an effect of ‘trickle-down peace’ that in effect constrains transformation with the potential for facilitating conditions for a return to conflict.

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