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Linking the Formal and Informal EconomyConcepts and Policies$
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Basudeb Guha-Khasnobis, Ravi Kanbur, and Elinor Ostrom

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199204762

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2006

DOI: 10.1093/0199204764.001.0001

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Social capital, survival strategies, and their potential forpost-conflict governance in Liberia

Social capital, survival strategies, and their potential forpost-conflict governance in Liberia

Chapter:
(p.230) 13 Social capital, survival strategies, and their potential forpost-conflict governance in Liberia
Source:
Linking the Formal and Informal Economy
Author(s):

Amos Sawyer

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0199204764.003.0013

Post-conflict reconstruction strategies typically focus on identifying and repairing formal governing institutions and physical infrastructures, and tend to ignore the informal arrangements that sustain people over years of state failure. This paper shows how informal institutions were critical to the survival of local people during state collapse and violent conflicts in Liberia. It argues that there are very healthy informal arrangements that can become important building blocks in post-conflict governance arrangements if used to buttress formal institutions, and that unlocking such capital is important in enabling people to make transitions from short-term survival strategies to more productive long-term arrangements. Failure to recognize these assets have frequently led to the presumption of a social capital deficit and, therefore, the need to look externally for such a resource.

Keywords:   formal institutions, informal institutions, post-conflict, reconstruction, governance, social capital, survival strategies

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