The Libyan Paradox



The Libyan Paradox

Luis Martinez ; translated by John King

(The CERI series in comparative politics and international studies / [edited by] Jean-François Bayart and Christophe Jaffrelot)

Hurst & Company , In association with the Centre d'études et de recherches internationales, c2007

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Includes bibliographical references (p. 159-178) and index



In 1992 United Nations sanctions were imposed on Libya after it refused to hand over for judgement in an international court two Libyan citizens suspected of involvement in the bombing of a passenger plane over Lockerbie in Scotland in 1988. The sanctions were not suspended until 2003, by which time Libya had undergone fundamental changes. After the sanctions were lifted, those changes accelerated rather than going into reverse. The newly militant attitude of the United States after the events of 9 September 2001, and the invasion of Iraq in March 2003, conveyed to the Libyan leadership that opposition to the West was potentially disastrous. Libya stepped back from the development of nuclear weapons and opened its economy to the West. Meanwhile Colonel Gaddafi, the leader of the Libyan Revolution, has found ways to consolidate his hold on the country. The author suggests that the future of Libya now lies in becoming what he calls-paradoxically-an authoritarian liberal state.


1. The End of the Embargo2. 11 September 2001: The 'Conversion' of a Regime3. Gaddafi: His Power and Position 4. Is the Jamahiriya Reformable?Conclusion: After Gaddafi?

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