Does Libya Need a Lesson in Devolved Government?
A review of my book by The Spectator magazine shows that the key struggles between the centre and the periphery need to be addressed via localization and incorporating the periphery into the center. Moreover, the reviewer feels that the keys to the present crisis are explained via the central metaphor of our volume. Quite flattering and thanks you David Blackburn. Read the whole article here.
Recent news from Libya has not inspired confidence. Terrorism, riots, murder, a temporarily kidnapped prime minster, oil stuck at export terminals – it’s a dispiriting litany of apparently unconnected events. Yet careful study of the region’s history and the aftermath of the uprisings against Colonel Gaddafi suggest that peripheral forces in Libya are, as they often do, resisting impositions from the centre. That is the central thesis of a collection of essays The 2011 Libyan Uprisings and the Struggle for the Post-Qadafi Future, edited by Jason Pack of Cambridge University. Pack & Co argue that the Libyan uprising was not homogenous. There were ‘multiple simultaneous uprisings’…
Pack & Co make a convincing case that central government, supported by the western allies and their aid agencies, must ‘localise’ (devolve) power by giving the various strongmen a stake in the administration of justice, the economy and the development of public services. Only then, they argue, can Libya build strong civic institutions to withstand greater tremors than those of the moment.