This case study analyses the extent of progress in achieving security in Liberia, focusing specifically on changes in personal safety. Five key factors are identified as having played a central role in driving the changes witnessed in Liberia: the coexistence of a plurality of actors providing security at the local level; the role of the UN peacekeeping mission in Liberia; a relatively stable political settlement; security sector reform; and considerable donor funding and technical support.
Since the end of several years of armed conflict and extreme insecurity in 2003, Liberia has experienced an end to large-scale organised violence, and seen improvements in the experiences and perceptions of a wide range of other forms of violence. Perceptions of the police generally appear to have improved, and the Liberian population increasingly sees police officers as a source of protection rather than insecurity, despite some ongoing allegations of excessive force and corruption.
Karen Barnes Robinson and Craig Valters, with Tove Strauss and Aaron Weah