Countering Violent Extremism in Libya: A Peacebuilding Perspective

8th session of the webinar "Political participation in its “extreme” Middle Eastern context"
5:00 pm
6:30 pm

New session of the webinar (in english) "Political participation in its "extreme" Middle East context", organized by the FMSH and Ifpo for the PAVE project, with the intervention of the researcher Bilgehan Öztürk.


Bilgehan Öztürk got his bachelors degree from TOBB University of Economics and Technology in Ankara. He was awarded Jean Monnet Scholarship by Council of Europe in 2011 and completed his masters degree at Kings College London, in the Department of Middle East and Mediterranean Studies with Distinction. He was awarded Associate of Kings College (AKC) title, which is granted by Kings College London only, for his special degree on religion and philosophy. He continues his PhD studies at Middle East Technical University, in the Department of International Relations. Border security, Syrian civil war, armed non-state actors, radical groups and radicalisation are among his research interests.


CVE Libya_Cover.PNG
Libya has been experiencing a volatile period since the 2011 revolution that toppled the 42-year-long reign of Colonel Muammar Qadhafi. Since the revolution, the country has faced state failure, the spread of militias and extremist groups, and interventions of regional and global powers. The civil war in the country and the civil war's internal and external dynamics have further destabilised the country, leading to a regional crisis and the spread of uncertainty. The problem of violent extremism that is tackled in this work is just one of the critical aspects of Libya's broader problems.

Violent Extremism (VE) is a social and security threat that manifests itself across all countries, regions or societies, and Libya has not been an exception. Although VE is an omnipresent phenomenon, it hits contexts such as failed states, ethnic, sectarian, religious or tribal fault lines/cleavages, civil wars, and authoritarian regimes especially hard. The cracks, which paved the way for the blossoming of VE's root causes, were created during the reign of Colonel Muammar Qadhafi and were exposed after his toppling. These causes were further exacerbated by the Libyan Civil War that was instigated by renegade General Khalifa Haftar in 2014.

This research explores VE in Libya in its historical and social context. More importantly, the research formulates a consistent strategy for countering violent extremism (CVE) based on some of the critical principles of bottom-up peacebuilding. The study's recommendations encapsulate a synthesis of nation-building, state-building, and peacebuilding programs to address the problem of VE in a sustainable and locally-oriented approach. The objective of the strategies offered in this study is to expose both the individuals and the structural sources that paved the way for the emergence of VE in Libya.

Published at 16 September 2021