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The Centre on Social Movement Studies

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Libya’s Violent Revolution

Emin Poljarevic

Type: Working Paper
Year: 2012

Libya is unlike other states in North Africa mainly because of the distinctive arrangement of different socio-economic and political features it combines. This arrangement came into sharper focus in the wake of the recent collapse of its 40-year-old authoritarian regime. What had begun as a series of peaceful protests against the regime’s administrative misconducts became a full-scale confrontation between, increasingly frustrated crowds of protesters and ever-more violent regime forces and their supporters. It cannot be denied that the mobilization of Libyan dissidents was inspired by the preceding popular uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt. Just days after the collapse of the Mubarak regime, multiple street protests erupted across Libya. Even if one accepts the argument that the Libyan revolt was inspired by events outside the country, however, this does not explain why this popular uprising took such a significantly different path to those of its neighbors. This paper contextualizes the collapse of the Libyan regime by exploring the country’s various features and analyzing the mobilization process of different groups of anti-regime activists. The paper further presents a critical understanding of the progression of the mobilization process, the fall of the Qaddafi establishment and the immediate results of the regime change, all of which are considerably different from what has taken place elsewhere in the region.
EUI SPS - Cosmos Working Paper 2012/05

2012WP05COSMOS

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