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Extralegal Groups in Post-Conflict LiberiaHow Trade Makes the State$
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Christine Cheng

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780199673346

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199673346.001.0001

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Theoretical Framework

Theoretical Framework

(p.74) 2 Theoretical Framework
Extralegal Groups in Post-Conflict Liberia

Christine Cheng

Oxford University Press

Chapter 2 provides an in-depth treatment of the extralegal groups framework. It sets out the post-conflict conditions in which the framework will be applied, and discusses the three stages of emergence, development, and entrenchment, and how a group transitions between them. The framework lays out a causal logic for how ex-combatants seeking employment can transform in response to local opportunity structures. It shows how and why these groups become enmeshed in webs of local corruption over time and argues that the key factor that determines whether an extralegal group engages in statebuilding depends on how far into the future the group believes it can control its enclave. Statebuilding need not be state-led and weak states in particular, are not always in the strongest position to build robust local institutions or to provide local public goods. Instead, extralegal groups may be better positioned to provide basic governance functions.

Keywords:   statebuilding, state capacity, emergence, development, entrenchment, public interest, corruption, impersonal sphere, contract enforcement, regulation

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