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Governance in Libya: Political, economic and security challenges

Date From 27.05.2024 time
End Date To 28.05.2024 time

Piazza Martiri della Libertà, 33 , 56127 Italy

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Monday, May 27 and Tuesday, May 28, 2024, are scheduled for two days dedicated to the International Workshop Addressing Governance Challenges, an event included in the teaching programs of the Ph.D. in Transnational Governance courses, in collaboration with the Scuola Normale Superiore, and the course of Honours Students  “L’Africa nel (dis)ordine internazionale”.

May 27th, 9:30 a.m.
"Governance in Libya: Political, economic and security challenges"

In present-day Libya, an intricate set of dynamics is unfolding, involving a diverse array of actors. At the national level, state entities navigate a complex landscape, balancing their responsibilities alongside regional, local, and disparate systems of social and cultural organization on political and economic interests. Concurrently, international interventions further complicate the scenario, with interventions spanning various levels – be it political, municipal, regional, European, or involving individual states and international organizations. The interplay of state and non-state actors on both national and international fronts adds layers of complexity to the overall reunification and state building efforts in Libya, furthering various forms of authority to function in isolated silos around individuals and entities of diverse natures. These complexities unfold along distinct trajectories within the realms of politics, economics, and security. Notably, there exists a noticeable divergence between these three critical domains, accentuated by the pronounced disconnect between the formal structures and the informal aspects at play.

Unpacking the Libyan state building landscape poses a formidable challenge. Recognizing the need for a fine-grained as well as holistic overview, “governance” lenses emerge valuable analytical tool for deciphering this complexity. They provide a means to illuminate the dimensions associated with multi-actor and multi-sectoral coordination, intricately intertwined with diverse and simultaneous regional dynamics.

Building on these observations, the Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies is organizing an international workshop dedicated to examining the processes of formulation, transformation, revision, and consolidation of governance in Libya. This initiative comes a decade after the interruption of the democratic process and resurgence of conflict in 2014, and persistent pressures between unification and polarization since then. In the beginning of 2021, Libyan politicians reached an agreement on the terms for establishing a national unity government, consolidating the previously separate administrations in Tripoli and Tobruk. This agreement marked another stride towards enduring stability subsequent to the ceasefire between the conflicting militaries in October 2020. Late in 2023, despite resurgent polarization in two main political power centres, new Libyan efforts brought some consolidation of national institutions.

We have invited experts spanning various fields, including scholars, analysts, policymakers, NGOs, and local actors, to rethink and share their understanding during a one-day workshop in Pisa, on the topic of governance in the areas of politics, security, and the economy, the interplay between these areas and their correlation with formal and informal dynamics of power configuration, transmission and contestation.

Our objective is to prompt an examination and sharing of their insights. We seek to delve into the significance of formal and informal dynamics, examining whether and under what circumstances they play a role in Libya’s current state of affairs, considering their role in consolidating or harnessing the challenges and opportunities in the realms of state formation and state-building in Libya today.

Program attached.