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date: 20 February 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The course of the 2011 Libyan revolution, international intervention, and the regime’s application of armed force created new forms of sub-state affiliation and mobilization. International and regional intervention has exacerbated Libya’s chaos and deepened its fault lines. The civil war in 2014 was the culmination of these fissures and international pressures but conflicts since then by the myriad armed groups have become increasingly predatory—a scramble for the country’s oil wealth and the capture of state institutions. Libya’s conflicts are directly tied to the pathologies of the rentier oil state under Gaddafi and the failure of post-2011 distributive policies, along with endemic corruption and cronyism. Meanwhile, Western engagement is focused on parochial aims such as counterterrorism and stemming irregular migration. For the foreseeable future, Libya is likely to suffer from truncated sovereignty, a fractured national identity, regional meddling, simmering armed conflict, and hyper-localized politics. 

Keywords: Arab Spring, civil war, Islamism, Khalifa Haftar, Libya, migration, militias, revolution, Muammar al-Gaddafi

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