In Review of Greed and Grievance Theories : The Causes of the Civil War in Sierra Leone

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Title: In Review of Greed and Grievance Theories : The Causes of the Civil War in Sierra Leone
Author: Shakir, Aysu
Other contributor: University of Helsinki, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science
Helsingin yliopisto, Valtiotieteellinen tiedekunta, Yleisen valtio-opin laitos
Helsingfors universitet, Statsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Institutionen för allmän statslära
Date: 2008-04-14
Language: en
Thesis level: master's thesis
Abstract: The purpose of the thesis is to contribute to the ongoing debates on greed and grievance factors as to the causes of civil war. Firstly, the central focus of this study is to determine whether greed or/and grievance theories are relevant to explain the causes of civil war in Sierra Leone. Secondly, the thesis analyses whether there are linkages between greed and grievance factors in the causes of civil war of Sierra Leone. The content, the development, and the views of the different authors concerning the greed and grievance debate are reviewed in the time frame of 1998-2006. Particularly the views and works, and the changes of views, of two prominent scholars: Paul Collier and Anke Hoeffler, are reviewed as their model of civil war sparked the discussion that has come to be known as the greed versus grievance debate.According to this division, while the old wars are seen as a noble struggle of grievances, the new wars are seen as the selfish struggles of greed. The division of greed (primary commodities, proportion of young men in the society, endowment of education, suppliers of armaments, and opportunities for bureaucratic corruption) and grievance (the expression of raw ethnic or religious hatred, economic inequality, lack of political rights, and government economic incompetence) factors outlined by Paul Collier is used in the thesis. The thesis is in qualitative form. It is theory-orientated as it aims to review the theoretical debate, and to contribute in the theoretical discussion. The study is a descriptive-explanatory, single case-study research that compares two ‘the causes of civil wars’ theories. The research method used in the thesis is descriptive-explanatory analysis and synthesis. The study employs the case study method by analysing a wide range of secondary sources on or about the causes of civil war theories, greed and grievance theories and Sierra Leone civil war in order to examine the greed and grievance factors, and their linkages as to the causes of the Sierra Leone civil war. The unit of the analysis is the state of Sierra Leone and the causes of its civil war in 1991–2002. The thesis confirms that the civil war in Sierra Leone and it causes are many, diverse and a very complex phenomenon. The results of this study show that greed factors are not the only or exhaustive explanation enough to explain the causes of the civil war in Sierra Leone. Also grievance factors played a major role in causing the war. The thesis confirms that both greed and grievance proxies existed and have been simultaneously causing the civil war in Sierra Leone. The thesis confirms that many greed or grievance -motivated proxies are connected to each other. Therefore Collier's and Hoeffler's view on greed and grievance as contrasting motivations for rebellion is not a correct one.
Description: Only abstract. Paper copies of master’s theses are listed in the Helka database ( Electronic copies of master’s theses are either available as open access or only on thesis terminals in the Helsinki University Library.Vain tiivistelmä. Sidottujen gradujen saatavuuden voit tarkistaa Helka-tietokannasta ( Digitaaliset gradut voivat olla luettavissa avoimesti verkossa tai rajoitetusti kirjaston opinnäytekioskeilla.Endast sammandrag. Inbundna avhandlingar kan sökas i Helka-databasen ( Elektroniska kopior av avhandlingar finns antingen öppet på nätet eller endast tillgängliga i bibliotekets avhandlingsterminaler.
Subject: civil wars
peace - and - conflict - studies
Sierra Leone

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