Title: Libya: narrative construction as a driver for international intervention
Authors: Pereira, Pascoal Santos 
Issue Date: 2013
Publisher: Faculdade de Economia da Universidade de Coimbra
Series/Report no.: Comunicações
Abstract: The popular uprisings commonly known as Arab Spring have been a challenge for analysts in the field of Political Science and International Politics. Whole populations rose against corrupt and authoritarian political elites which had controlled their lives for too long and eventually achieved their goals at least in Tunisia and Egypt, where the former rulers were removed from power. Some elements of these popular uprisings are striking: the resilience, determination, and peacefulness of the demonstrators; the virtual absence of a recognizable leader or of a defined political project; the gradual contagion effect from these two trendsetters to the whole Maghreb and Middle East; the role played by the media and individual tools of communications in the dissemination of the events; the non-direct interference of external actors on each of the uprisings, with the exception of Libya and Bahrain. The revolution in Libya seems to be somehow dissonant in the creation of a linear narrative around this Arab Spring, since an international military intervention was necessary to stop the slaughter of Libyan civilians at the hand of its own government, which was toppled consequently. But within the framework of international interventions mandated by the United Nations (UN), this has been a unique moment as well, since this decision of the Security Council (SC) to mandate an international force referring explicitly to the a responsibility to protect. Although not unique in itself, this intervention eventually opens the possibility to the resort of the concept of “Responsibility to protect” (R2P) for interventions in the future. This double uniqueness of Libya is the main driver of this paper, which aims at understanding, on the one hand, the consequences of this intervention, in future international actions of this sort. On the other hand, this attempt to make sense of the discourse of R2P brought some other narratives to the surface which might be helpful to be explored and mapped. The first section is an outline of the world order after the end of the Cold War, as an introduction to the second section, in which we line up the main ideas behind the responsibility to protect. In the third section, I will address the use of this principle of R2P as a background for the intervention in Libya, in a UN mission mandated for the first time using this specific conceptual corpus. The last section will be a mapping exercise of the different narratives that meet, collide and reinforce mutually in the context of the revolutions in the Arab world and more specifically in the context of the intervention on Libya.
Description: Texto da comunicação apresentada a 54th ISA Annual Convention, San Francisco, EUA 3-6 April 2013
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10316/23838
Rights: openAccess
Appears in Collections:FEUC- Artigos em Revistas Nacionais

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