Identify the key actors, power dynamics and issues of Libyan political economy after the Qadhafi regime.
The scene of actors in Libya is highly fragmented, localised and fluid.
The main division seems to have been between forces that support
continued changes (‘pro-revolution’) and others that do not
- Community actors:
- Geographic communities. Beyond differences between Cyrenaica,
Tripolitana and Fezzan, local communities have been the fundamental
actors. Prominent ones have included Misrata, Zintan, Al Zawiyah,
Benghazi, Bani Walid and Sirte.
- Tribal groupings have alternatively generated conflict and conflict
- Ethnicity (Arabs, Amazigh, Tuareg and Tubu) has at times been a
part of conflict dynamics.
- Further actors have included: urban notables; workplace or
neighbourhood networks; and civil society as a whole.
- Local armed groups have played the central role. The most powerful
ones are the revolutionary brigades in the east and west. Other local
armed groups include unregulated brigades, post-revolutionary
brigades, and militias (including criminal networks and violent
- Formal national politics has been a channel for elite struggles that
stem from local interests and resources.
- Many women and girls played major roles during the uprisings, but have
been marginalised. A number of them have striven to remain active.
While some factors support peace, conflict has been dominant. Disputes
have been rooted in longstanding competing claims over territory, public
and private resources, power, justice and fairness. They stem from the
interplay of: people’s different experiences, leading to divided views
about the revolution; widespread insecurity and the mixed effects of
security and conflict management through local actors; human rights
abuses, impunity and weak justice institutions; inclusiveness and
balance of power in formal politics; the distribution of licit and
illicit economic and public resources (especially oil and gas); national
identity and citizenship.
Combaz, E. Key actors, dynamics and issues of Libyan political economy (GSDRC Helpdesk Research Report 1106). Governance and Social Development Resource Centre, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK (2014) 22 pp.