Date of Award

Spring 2002

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Sociology & Criminal Justice


Applied Sociology

Committee Director

James A. Nolan

Committee Member

Victoria Time

Committee Member

Helen Taylor Greene

Committee Member

Francis Adams

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.S62 W55 2002


Throughout the 1990s the United Nations Human Development Index, an annual report that measures human development, depicted Sierra Leone as one of, if not the poorest nation on the planet. In 2001, the same report depicted 162 countries in terms of human development and Sierra Leone ranked 162. This Sub-Saharan nation experienced a total collapse of its state and society beginning in 1990. The United Nations and the rest of the international community are only now beginning to work towards putting Sierra Leone together again.

This study investigate factors that led to the collapse of Sierra Leone--factors such as social inequalities, conflicts emanating from the politicization of the polity/military along tribal-ethnic lines, chronic economic problems, and a brutal war. This thesis contends that the cumulative effects of the stated factors, especially the brutal rebel war, caused the nation's collapse and near demise.


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