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The Transnational Politics of Recognition in the Libyan Civil War

1 January 2019 - 31 October 2022

PI/s in Exeter: Dr Irene Fernandez-Molina

Research partners:

Funding awarded: 9820


About the research

The project examined how different forms of international or transnational recognition have impacted on conflict dynamics in Libya since 2011. It is based on a non-dualistic and non-legal conceptualisation of transnational recognition drawing on Hegelian-inspired recognition theory. This provides a new angle to approach the transnational dimensions of civil war in primarily social-relational terms, besides domestic security dilemmas and political economy factors. The project compiled a dataset of reported acts/forms of recognition – including engagement – between external and Libyan actors in 2011-2019. This was combined with interviews with diplomats and international officials appointed to Libya in order to build a typology of the causal mechanisms driving international recognition, e.g. framing, normative persuasion, strategic calculation and logics of on-the-ground practicality. The final stage was to explore each form of transnational recognition’s contingent effects on conflict dynamics through the identity formation, legitimisation and/or empowerment of various Libyan conflict actors.