Contentious Politics in Libya: A Study of the Initial Period of the 2011 Libyan Uprising



Talbot, Francis

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This thesis describes the initial two weeks of the 2011 Libyan uprising. Through a detailed case study of this period, a narrative timeline is produced that includes significant events and descriptions of the actions taken by established and emerging political actors. Pulling from these descriptions, I consider whether this initial period of the Libyan uprising meets the criteria for an episode of contentious politics. Once establishing this, the thesis explores the scale shifting process commonly found in contentious politics and its applicability to the Libyan case. By identifying evidence of both brokerage and diffusion mechanisms as well as the emulation of a violent protest repertoire, I present the findings of the thesis. I concluded with recommendations on possible future research on Libya as an episode of political contention that could both deepen the understanding of the 2011 Libyan uprising and broaden the understanding of contentious politics in non-Western, non-democratic societies.



Libya, Contentious politics, Social Movement Theory, Revolution, Scale-shifting process