Libyaâ€™s Arab Spring
This article presents a critical account of Libyaâ€™s incipient democratization, contextualizing it within the Arab Spring Ã©lan. This first line of inquiry is twofold: it critically assesses the meaning of democratization in the context of the Arab Middle East (AME), and briefly considers issues related to democratic knowledge and the Orientalistâ€“Occidentalist inputs into this debate. Then, it situates this debate within the â€˜Arab Springâ€™, looking at Western negative impressions of Arab revolts. A second line of inquiry is also twofold: While assessing the steps taken on the road to democratic reconstruction, it offers an unorthodox perspective on the North African countryâ€™s transition. To this end, the article concludes that even violence is part and parcel of the process of power redistribution and reconstitution of a new polity. From this angle, whilst Libyaâ€™s first election in nearly 50 years represents a step in the right direction along the path of political renewal, forms of unrulinessâ€”regional, religious or tribalâ€”challenge Euro-American views of democracy as a single and fixed type of regime that precludes forms of disorder. In fact, unruliness has accompanied Libyaâ€™s long and arduous process of ousting Gaddafi from power; this continues and will mark the transition process for sometime in the foreseeable future.
Volume (Year): 49 (2012)
Issue (Month): 3-4 (July)
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