Diplomatic Recognition as de facto Intervention - Insights from the 2011 uprisings in Libya

By Inez Freiin Von Weitershausen
Submitted to Session P5016 (Transitional Justice in Tunisia and Libya, 2017 Annual Meeting
Intl Rltns/Aff
Arab States; Europe; Gulf; Libya;
19th-21st Centuries; African Studies; Arab Studies; Mediterranean Studies; Security Studies;
LCD Projector with Audio Patch or Speakers;
Building on the growing body of literature on diplomatic practices the paper engages with the international recognition of the National Transitional Council (NTC) in Libya in the context of the uprisings in the Arab world in 2011. It traces the response of the International Community and focuses in particular on the diverging efforts by regional (MENA and Gulf) states as well as by leading European and Western countries. Through process-tracing and in-depth interviews it is established how and why different governments sought to provide legitimacy to different opposition groups at varying points in time, which factors drove their respective actions and how exactly they demonstrated their support both on a discursive as well as behavioural level.
Building on these novel empirical insights, the paper argues that diplomatic recognition must be understood as a powerful, yet insufficiently considered tool of intervention and requires both more scholarly attention and critical assessment.