Non-State Actors and State-Building in Libya after 2011


Non-State Actors and State-Building in Libya after 2011

In this podcast, Professor Amal El-Obeidi discusses power struggles in Libya, as well as the country's instability since 2011. In the absence of a central state after the fall of Qaddafi's regime, processes of national reconciliation and transitional justice have been ineffective. Additionally, the increased number of municipalities after 2014 has led to new political divisions. El-Obeidi argues that local-level governing coalitions have often filled the void of state sovereignty and worked to reduce marginalization, as well as ensure equal access to resources. She focuses specifically on the increasing role of non-state actors in national reconciliation. In this context, tribes played a significant role in Libya's political and social life through ‘urf, or customary law. El-Obeidi highlights the position of women in local reconciliation dialogs within male-dominated councils. In addition to her research, El-Obeidi also speaks of the ways in which academic life has changed significantly for Libya scholars since 2011. The conflict in Libya has not only impacted academic facilities, but has made field research difficult, if not impossible. 
Amal El-Obeidi is Professor of Comparative Politics in the Department of Political Science at the University of Benghazi, Libya. Currently she is a fellow researcher at the Institute for African Studies at Bayreuth University, Germany. She is a founding member and vice president of the Libyan Experts Forum for Development since 2017. Author of Political Culture in Libya, her work has appeared in Open Democracy and Middle East Monitor. Prof. El-Obeidi's research interests include gender issue, local reconciliation, governance and security issues, migration, conflict resolution, and peace building. Her current research addresses tribalism in Libya from a gender perspective. 
Jacob Mundy, Associate Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies at Colgate University, conducted this interview on November 23, 2020. This podcast is part of the "Supporting Critical Research and Strengthening Scholarly Capacity in Algeria, Libya, and Tunisia" project organized by the Centre d'Études Maghrébines à Tunis (CEMAT) and the Centre d'Études Maghrébines en Algérie (CEMA), and funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York. Prof. Mundy heads the contemporary Libya studies research unit, of which Prof. El-Obeidi is a member.

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Posted by: Hayet Lansari, Librarian, Outreach Coordinator, Content Curator (CEMA).


Suggested Readings


Obeidi, Amal. 2020. "An Introductory Study on the Status, Challenges, and Prospects of Governance and Institutions in Libya." United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia. Beyrouth: United Nations House.

______. 2019. "Politics Socialization and National Identity in Libya." In Amal El-Obeidi et al. Libyan Identity: Multidisciplinary Approaches. University of Benghazi and University of Leiden: 219-247.

______. 2019. "Local Reconciliation in Libya: An Evaluation of the Local Agreements Since 2011." Spektrum: The Science Magazine of the University of Bayreuth (vol. 15).

______. 2019. "Local Reconciliation in Libya since 2011: Actors, Process, and Mechanisms." In Thomas Hüsken, Alexander Solyga and Dida Badi, eds. Multiplicities of Orders and Practices. Cologne: Rüdiger Köppe: 253-282.

______. 2017. "Political Socialization in Post-Qadhafi Libya: Analytical Study on Coexistance Values in Basic Education Curricula." In Riad Bin Khalifa, ed. Social Cohesion in Libya and Elsewhere. Tunis: Faculté des Sciences Humaines et Sociales de Tunis: 123-156.

______. 2015. Political Culture in Libya. London: Routledge.