This paper unpacks how the international community’s efforts to strengthen Liberia’s state institutions have created pathways for corruption.

Liberia is entering a period of enhanced vulnerability which may lead to a resurgence in crime.  The country has been hailed as a post-conflict success story: the guns of war have been silent since 2003, political violence is rare, and governments are appointed through the ballot box. However, since 2015, the country’s governance indicators have steadily declined, and its lack of resilience to organized crime has diminished further. Therefore, it is urgent to analyze the current shortcomings of Liberia’s political economy, which has long featured elements of embedded criminality. Liberia’s trajectory highlights wider subregional implications and risks that are associated with post-war economies.