Libya- Understanding the Contemporary and Future Politics  



“Is there a political future for Libya?” This is what the panel is about. The panel will discuss the contemporary political situation in Libya, the challenges, and opportunities for a better future for Libya. The Arab spring gave a hope to Arab youth for a prosperous, democratic and resilient future of their countries based on equality, es, freedom and a dignified life.  

Brief of the situation

Eight years after Gadafi’s regime revolt, Libya yet remains a battleground for many political factions and militias with ambiguous future. Since the Libyan revolution in February 2011, the economic, political and security levels keep deteriorating. –and the whole Libyan nation is divided under control of one UN-backed government in the west and another one under Khalifa Haftar’s one in the East. Both governments claiming legitimacy to control and govern the country.

Haftar’s forces announced recently its offensive to “purge the south of terrorists and criminal groups”.  South of Libya is also under a struggle between Libya’s minority, Tubu community and Arab tribes, particularly over control of lucrative cross-border smuggling routes.

The economic situation is gloomy as well. According to the World Bank records, inflation rates are at an all-time high resulting in a loss of confidence of the banking system as a result a liquidity crisis which increased the poverty levels and exacerbated the socio-economic exclusion. “Since 2017, inflation accelerated, exacerbating further hardship of the population. Prices of all commodities continued to increase, mainly driven by acute shortages in the supply chains of basic commodities, speculation in the expanding black markets, and the strong devaluation of the Libyan dinar (LYD) in the parallel markets. Consequently, inflation hit a record level of 28.4% in 2017 following the 25.9% in 2016”.

Areas of discussion

  • The current scene of the political situation in Libya
  • Who has the actual power inside Libya now?
  • What would undermine a safe transition in Libya?
  • The evaluation the role of external actors in the geopolitics of Libya?
  • What is the role of the International community in stabilizing the situation?
  • Discussion around the recent strategy by the Brookings institute to rebuild Libya
  • Why Libya became a corridor for migrations to Europe?
  • What are the intersections with the Global Compact on Migration in the North African sub-region, where mixed movements are common and highly tragic?
  • What are the regional trends in the Mediterranean space and how do they affect movements across the sea?
  • How can the challenges related to finding safety and protection for refugees beyond the MENA region?

Date Time

Saturday April 6th, 2019

11:00 am – 12:40 PM

Harvard Yard – Emerson Hall – 105




Co-chair: Mohamed Abu Asaker        Co-chair: Zeid El-Basyouni