University of Cambridge > > Wolfson College Lunchtime Seminar Series - Wednesdays of Full Term > Libya's post-Qadhafi Fissures: Federalists, Islamists, Berbers and the Militias

Libya's post-Qadhafi Fissures: Federalists, Islamists, Berbers and the Militias

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Bio: Jason Pack is a PhD Candidate in History at St. Catharine’s College, University of Cambridge, and president of He is the editor of The 2011 Libyan Uprisings and The Struggle for the Post-Qadhafi Future (Palgrave Macmillan 2013). His articles have appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, The Guardian, The Spectator, and Foreign Policy.

Abstract: In the process of defeating Qadhafi, Libyan society was mobilized along local/regional/tribal/and religious cleavages. The post-revolutionary struggle has re-created power relationships that are analogous to those that existed in the Ottoman, Italian, British, and Sanussi Monarchy periods. Study of the Berber community, federalists, and extreme Islamists reveals that paranoid and jingoistic revolutionary militiamen have set each of their community’s policies rather than more compromising and talent members of civil society.

The central government’s inability to create an inclusive rhetoric to compete with the discourse of the periphery or build functioning institutions and a national army which can constrain the militias has ceded initiative and power to the periphery. This talk will examine the periphery’s successful attempts at blackmail and the centre’s inability to consolidate power and penchant for appeasement.

This talk is part of the Wolfson College Lunchtime Seminar Series - Wednesdays of Full Term series.

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