Date of Conferral





Public Policy and Administration


Gabriel M. Telleria


There is convincing evidence in the literature that the civil war fought in Sierra Leone beginning in 1991 was the result of social and political grievances between the 3 dominant ethnic groups, Krio, Mende, and Temne. Hitherto, there were no studies which explored their collaboration on postconflict sustainable peacebuilding efforts. By closely examining the political behaviors of these groups, this qualitative expert study was designed to create understanding of how collaboration between them supported postconflict sustainable peace-building efforts. Data consisted of observational notes and semistructured interviews of 21 Sierra Leonean experts living in the United States. Data were analyzed using the method of content analysis and cross-verified through the process of data source triangulation. Results indicate the 3 dominant groups have divergent political ideologies, views, practices, and participations. However, it was also found they have convergent national interest in supporting sustainable peacebuilding in Sierra Leone. The results may change how sustainable peace-building initiatives are conceptualized through ethnic group collaboration. The contention of this study is that the nexus between development and security in a nation emerging from conflict is ethnic group cooperation. Hence, implications for social change are linked to opening new channels for discourse between dominant ethnic groups in a conflict-prone nation to avoid future conflicts. Therefore, knowledge from this study may be useful for governments, policy makers, the United Nations, and the international community at large because their actions may run parallel to ethnic group dynamics.