One thought on “I miss more that just West Coast weather

  1. The Lidow paper is ambitious but it is chock full of potentially debilitating problems. Where does one start? He is using “satellite evidence” or spatial analysis to make inferences about farming in rebel-controlled territory and rebel group behavior generally. He may need to incorporate a variable for NGOs and the activities of relief organizations because organizations such as the World Food Program were a disincentive for farming during the war. How many villagers lived off relief aid? In what territories did relief agencies have the most access? Why?. At some point, the ruthless Charles Taylor even commented that “his people” were becoming too reliant on NGOs for everything. The LURD-activity years of the Liberian civil war are also different from the rest of the war years in ways i do not even want to start to go into here given space and time concerns. Lidow also says “Between 1986 and 1991, crop area is estimated to have increased 4.8% in the NPFL areas covered by the study area.” The NPFL invasion was in 1989…were in the world does NPFL-controlled territory in 1986 come in? There are several more factual inconsistencies throughout the paper as well as methodological shortcomings. This paper is more likely to be published in the APSR, the JOP or the AJPS than JOMAS, African Affairs etc. because the former set of journals fancy “methodological sophistication” that is sometimes full of sound and fury even though ultimately signifying less. The paper is a little removed from the realities of the Liberian civil war and the sufferings of the Liberian and West African people. It may actually do them a disservice if it is put out there.