Based on the collection of oral histories, this talk navigates the political economy of the everyday life in Libya during the ruling period of al-Jamāhīrīyah from 1977 to its fall in 2011. It discusses how mundane socio-economic aspirations (or what it calls hopes for the ‘good life’) interacted with global, regional and local dynamics of power and resistance. The aim of the talk is to show, firstly, how everyday desires functioned as a source of political resistance toward the regime of Qaddafi, and permit us to understand why many Libyans rebelled against the regime in February 2011. Secondly, the talk highlights how those socio-economic aspirations were not independent from larger – regional and international- dynamics of power, rather they ultimately were co-opted by the NATO-led military intervention in 2011, which had devastating consequences on the country. In so doing, while the talk sheds light on the political dynamics that characterised Libya under Qaddafi, it also tries to consider what the Libyan case tells us about the historical and political development of many other countries in the Arab region.
For more information on the EU-LISTCO project, visit: http://middleeastdirections.eu/research/eu-listco-europes-external-action-and-the-dual-challenges-of-limited-statehood-and-contested-orders/