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Civil Resistance in the Arab SpringTriumphs and Disasters$
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Adam Roberts, Michael J. Willis, Rory McCarthy, and Timothy Garton Ash

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198749028

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198749028.001.0001

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Civil Resistance in Libya during the Arab Spring

Civil Resistance in Libya during the Arab Spring

(p.116) 5 Civil Resistance in Libya during the Arab Spring
Civil Resistance in the Arab Spring

George Joffé

Oxford University Press

Despite the autocratic nature of the Gaddafi regime in Libya, its weakness in Cyrenaica (Libya’s eastern province) became apparent in the 1990s. A series of protests there over specific issues—the deaths at Abu Salim prison in 1996, the children’s AIDS crisis in Benghazi, and the cartoons protest in 2006—allowed embryonic social movements using civil resistance to emerge. Regime attempts to suppress demonstrations linked to these events provoked a general uprising against it in Cyrenaica in mid-February 2011, which spread into Tripolitania and the Fezzan (the western and southern provinces respectively). Although civil society flourished after the removal of the Gaddafi regime, the failure of formal governance over the next four years led to extremist attempts to suppress any manifestation of civil resistance. The reasons for this are rooted in the nature of the previous regime as well as in the way in which the Libyan revolution evolved.

Keywords:   Cyrenaica, AIDS crisis, civil society, civil resistance, Danish cartoons crisis, Muammar Gaddafi, Libya, NATO, social movements

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