As a researcher in peace and conflict studies, I have carried out field work in two failed states in Africa. In 2009, I spent a month in Liberia to ask locals questions on the reasons that led to the brutal civil war that ended in 2003. I asked questions about Chinese participation in the UN mission in Liberia and gathered views on the path to sustainable peace.

In 2012, I spent a week in South Sudan, a year before the civil war broke out, this time to try to understand the goings-on in Africa’s youngest nation, and local, Chinese and Western perspectives on the future of the soon-to-be war-torn country...

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