The Amazigh Issue in Post-Qaddafi's Libya: mobilizing history for occupying a political vacuum

Pagano, Chiara. (2018) The Amazigh Issue in Post-Qaddafi's Libya: mobilizing history for occupying a political vacuum. Afriche e Orienti, 20 (3). pp. 57-75.

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The article analyses the Imazighen’s role in Libyan uprising of February 2011, historically
problematizing the emergence of the ethnic issue in nowadays Libya, as well as Imazighen’s struggle to bring the ethnic discourse on the transitional political agenda, after over 42 years of Qaddafi’s pan-Arab oppression. Amazigh communities of Jabal al-Nafusa and Zwara have performed their mobilization within the public space of revolutionary Libya not only as an armed revolt against Qaddafi’s regime but also as a ‘laboratory of belonging’, inextricably linking the credibility of Libya’s democratic transition to the constitutional recognition of their linguistic and cultural specificity. Eventually, the cultural themes of Berberism were coupled to a nativist rhetoric, sustaining a process of ethnic identity’s (re)construction. Arguably both local activists and town leaders have usually preferred to strive for their particular interests in a peaceful way, despite constantly showing an oppositional attitude toward transitional authorities. Yet, in order to build a unitary linguistic and cultural community, ethnic categories were mobilized, which are often inherited from the colonial past. Ultimately, ethnicity served Amazigh leaders as a political tool for bargaining local interests with a weak political center, eventually seeking for wider margins of autonomy and the control of local resources.
Faculties and Departments:04 Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Departement Gesellschaftswissenschaften > Fachbereich Soziologie > Politische Soziologie (Ayata)
UniBasel Contributors:Pagano, Chiara
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:AIEP Editore
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:25 Oct 2021 10:04
Deposited On:25 Oct 2021 10:04

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