During several decades, the countries in North Africa are characterized by the prolonged transformations in relation to maintaining the democratic principles in the political and social spheres within the territories. The orientation to democracy is typical for a lot of countries around the world, but the situation in the Maghreb region is more controversial than within the other territories.
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Civil wars in the countries of North Africa resulted in the necessity to change the developed political regimes. The discussion of the contemporary situation in Libya can be referred to the arguments presented in the article by John Barger in which the researcher concentrates on predicting the possibilities to build the democratic society in Libya after ceasing the rule of Qadhafi.
In spite of the fact the situation of ceasing Qadhafi’s rule provides the political opposition with a lot of opportunities to change the regime in relation to the democratic basics, there are more limits for the process than advantages because of the impossibility to overcome the social and political apathy and consequences of the previous rule immediately.
Democracy in Libya could not be reached during a long period of time because of the peculiarities of Qadhafi’s regime known as Jamahiriyya. However, today the situation is changed.
What obstacles can prevent the political activists from using the opportunities and building a democracy in the country? According to Barger, the process of democratization can be realized with the help of different organs of civil society used to guarantee the concentration on the people’s rights (Barger 64).
These organs can be established only as a result of forming definite political parties as the symbol of the democratic society. From this point, the exiled opposition to Qadhafi can be discussed as the effective force, but the realization of the idea also depends on a lot of particular limiting features.
Moreover, Barger focuses on the definite apathy and passivity of the exiled opposition forces in spite of the possibility to establish certain organizations oriented to democracy. Thus, these organizations often showed a high degree of “apathy even for the minor roles allowed them by the Libyan state.
After three decades of institutionalized passivity, it is questionable that interest groups will be capable of assuming politically active – or at least effective – roles” (Barger 66). That is why, it is possible to state that in the situation of receiving the opportunity to build a democracy, Libyan political activists can be rather helpless to mobilize their forces and establish the effective political system based on the democratic principles.
However, the new approaches to the Libyan politics can be used by the Islamists who can establish the alternative regime. Barger accentuates that “any successful future political settlement in Libya will have to include the Islamists who … have demonstrated their ability to disrupt any political order of which they do not approve” (Barger 71). Nevertheless, the Libyan political system requires significant transformations, and there are no opposition forces which are sufficient enough to complete the transformations in short terms.
The contemporary situation in Libya and the analysis of John Barger’s arguments presented in the article allow speaking about the impossibility to establish a democracy in the country quickly. However, the orientation to the multi-party politics can be discussed as the effective strategy for the further development of Libya according to the democratic ideas and principles.
Barger, John. “After Qadhafi: Prospects for Political Party Formation and Democratisation in Libya”. The Journal of North African Studies 4.1 (1999): 62-77. Print.