Academic journal article Journal of Pan African Studies

Muammar Gaddafi's Legacy: A Domestic & Intellectual Approach

Academic journal article Journal of Pan African Studies

Muammar Gaddafi's Legacy: A Domestic & Intellectual Approach

Article excerpt

Introduction

Throughout the second half of the 20th and beginning of the 21st century, different investigations have been carried out regarding the character of Muammar Gaddafi from the optics of the social sciences in order to objectively get an approach to understand the actions carried out as a State leader as well as its impact at domestic and regional level. Beyond that, Gaddafi stood out as a polemic and popular political figure for several reasons that maintain an asymmetrical relationship with each other, on the one hand, seen as a solid and authoritarian presence at the State level in the region, with political ideals characteristic of a bipolarized global context, playing an important role as balance of power in the region; on the other hand, because of its frequent scandals regarding the systematic violations of human rights in Libya, and its participation as a sponsor of violence acts at State level and abroad. In a paralel way, there is an asymmetric relationship between the figure of Gaddafi as a philanthropist, billionaire, and as a leader of a state that officially enjoyed privileged positions in terms of economic and social development with respect to the Middle East and Africa; moreover, although in a lesser known facet, Gaddafi aroused interest thanks to the impact of his written intellectual work (political and literary material).

The Colonel Muammar Gaddafi ruled Libya between September the 1st of 1969 and October the 20th of 2011, same date of his death during an ambush in Sirte. He was born in a bedouin tent in Qasr Abu Hadi (Sirte District), in a high marked traditional environment and belonging to the Qaddafa ethnic group (1), so his education was in constant touch with religious rhetoric and therefore, under the traditional Libyan ethnic environment and Islamic rules. The figure that Gaddafi represented remained relevant at domestic and regional history so as Libyan international dynamics, moreover, at economic and social impact. Muammar Gaddafi is one of the most representative characters in Libya and northern Africa, and at the same time, one of the most polemic leaders of the 2nd half of the 20th Century and the first decade of the 21st, because of his influential participation in political and economic spheres in Africa as well as in the Middle East.

This paper aims to answer the questions of how to get an objective approach the analysis of Gaddafi's legacy, how is Gaddafi's legacy recognized, what are some impact indicators on his legacy, and finally, is there new information quantifiable that could be extracted from the study of the intellectual legacy of Gaddafi?

These questions will try to be answered through the construction of a bibliographic and qualitative method in which first two difficult angles to ignore when studying part of Gaddafi's legacy are considered, as are the first and second approaches of the present text, to finally identify a third angle of study when performing a qualitative analysis extracted from the intellectual legacy of Gaddafi in order to obtain additional information thanks to the triangulation of data and key concepts. The present work intends to carry out a transversal study around what we considered three interesting angles with respect to his legacy, for this purpose three approaches or study plans directly linked as part of Gaddafi's legacy have been identified that will be developed in a pyramidal set based on the following assumptions or hypotheses: a) Gaddafi's legacy maintains a controversial recognition with an important impact mainly related as despotic, unilateral and hostile State leader in foreign affairs matters, as well as sponsor of activities such as state terrorism and violent activities abroad, being provocative and controversial issues that have been exploited throughout the first decade of the 21st century; b) from a position less publicized than the first premise, but not less studied, Gaddafi's legacy as a State leader maintained a significant impact at domestic level, where it is possible to consider interesting asymmetric relations between the State and the population, making reference to the statistical data of the index of human development (health, education and income) registered as impact of the social policies implemented by Gaddafi, highlighting for positioning Libya in privileged positions with respect to the rest of the countries of Africa and the Middle East; c) it is possible to obtain new and precise information deposited in his written works, as is the case of his tales and stories, where it is possible to identify and recognize the presence of interesting series of internal conflicts in Gaddafi and cross-identity relations, in order to approaching a new way of re-knowing and studying the legacy of this character. …

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