The Landscape of Local Authority in Sierra Leone : How "Traditional" and "Modern" Justice and Governance Systems Interact | Land Portal

Información del recurso

Date of publication: 
Abril 2014
Resource Language: 
ISBN / Resource ID: 
oai:openknowledge.worldbank.org:10986/18099
Copyright details: 
CC BY 3.0 IGO

The topic of this paper is, in the words
of one reviewer, 'one of the most discussed
sociological and societal issues in African studies: the
relationship between traditional institutions and new
institutions'. Often in such discussions, the
'traditional' and 'modern' are framed as
if in opposition to one another, and debate centers on
whether and to what extent tradition should cede to
modernity, or modernity should yield to the dictates of
traditional norms. In Sierra Leone, much has been said and
written about the abuses of the chieftaincy system and
customary law, including the history of chieftaincy as a
tool for colonial rule, the exploitation of youth labor, the
exclusion of 'strangers' and young men from weak
lineages from access to land or marriage, the imposition of
harsh and arbitrary fines, and discriminatory practices
against women. Many have argued that abusive and autocratic
practices by traditional authorities helped to fuel the
civil war that ravaged Sierra Leone in the 1990s by driving
aggrieved young men away from their villages and into the
various armed factions, in rebellion against a social system
that trapped them in a rural underclass. On the other hand,
many people see the traditional justice and governance
systems as important mechanisms for maintaining peace and
social order, particularly in rural areas. Some on this side
of the argument see the war as having resulted from a
breakdown in this social order, and make the case for
strengthening the chieftaincy systems to consolidate peace
and promote development today.

Autores y editores

Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s): 

Manning, Ryann Elizabeth

Publisher(s): 

The World Bank is a vital source of financial and technical assistance to developing countries around the world. We are not a bank in the ordinary sense but a unique partnership to reduce poverty and support development.

Proveedor de datos

The World Bank is a vital source of financial and technical assistance to developing countries around the world. We are not a bank in the ordinary sense but a unique partnership to reduce poverty and support development.

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