Survey evidence from Monrovia before and after Ebola
Ex-combatant communities in post-conflict countries are the group least likely to have trust in the state and its security sector, but their (re)-integration into society is paramount for peace.
However, deficient state response to control negative exogenous shocks could threaten to destabilise this process. Ex-combatant communities may be less likely to receive services but disproportionately more likely to feel the burden of the state’s security response, thereby making a return to conflict more likely.
Using the 2014 Ebola epidemic in Liberia as a case study, we study the effect of shocks and state response to shocks on ex-combatant communities. Specifically, we explore the degree to which Ebola and the use of excessive force by the police and military during the Ebola epidemic might have affected ex-combatant communities’ perceptions of, demand for, and participation in security sector services.
We use two original, representative surveys of Monrovia’s two main ex-combatant communities conducted in 2012 and 2015 and find that excessive force by the security sector did little to change overall perceptions of the military.
Rather, perceptions of police discrimination increased and demand for police services declined after Ebola, but results also show that there was a large increase in the desire to join the security forces, suggesting that (re-)integration—whether to fix problems or to join in on spoils—may be an inadvertent consequence of state response to exogenous shocks.
Feedback will be provided by Dr Larissa Fast, Humanitarian Policy Group, Overseas Development Institute and Judith Bueno de Mesquita (Human Rights Centre), University of Essex.