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The Political Economy of Rural-Urban ConflictPredation, Production, and Peripheries$
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Topher L. McDougal

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198792598

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198792598.001.0001

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Trade Network Splintering and Ethnic Homogenization in Liberia and Sierra Leone

Trade Network Splintering and Ethnic Homogenization in Liberia and Sierra Leone

Chapter:
(p.118) 5 Trade Network Splintering and Ethnic Homogenization in Liberia and Sierra Leone
Source:
The Political Economy of Rural-Urban Conflict
Author(s):

Topher L. McDougal

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198792598.003.0005

In violent conflict, civilians in both urban and rural areas, depend to some extent on the function of trade networks for their welfare. This chapter then seeks to understand the ways in which trade network morphologies shift during a conflict. Analyzing unique survey data via GIS and statistical models, this chapter scrutinizes the dispersal of production networks via a multiplication of petty traders during civil wars in Sierra Leone and Liberia. First, it argues that violent events tended to splinter production networks. Second, it argues that violent events also tended to have a localizing effect on the composition of traders, making them more homogenous with respect to the populations they serve. It implies that cities become hubs of activity for numerous overlapping, but ultimately separate, radial ethnic networks serving rural areas.

Keywords:   ethnic composition, trade networks, violent conflict, Sierra Leone, Liberia

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