Published June 24, 2014 | By Nate Haken
Many truisms about peace-building incline towards pessimism. There is a “vicious cycle,” a “conflict trap,” “unintended consequences,” the problem of “political will,” and a slew of transnational “exogenous pressures” beyond the sphere of anyone’s control. Certainly, the Fragile States Index (FSI) is often perceived as a buffet of bad news stories and cautionary tales with the same sorry countries at the top of the list year after year. But there are also cases of sustained and steady progress that give occasion for hope. Liberia and Sierra Leone in West Africa offer two lessons for peace-builders working for lasting change.