Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

School of Politics and International Studies

Dr Adrian Gallagher discusses international responsibility and instability in Libya

30 July 2014 |

Lecturer in Security Studies and Research Methods, Dr Adrian Gallagher, questions the ‘simplistic argument’ that Libya is a disaster that ‘the West’ helped to create.

Following recent instability in Libya and the ensuing discussion about international responsibility, Dr Gallagher argues that writers have been too quick to assign blame to ‘the West’ for its intervention and subsequent lack of support in Libya.  

To support this argument, Dr Gallagher analyses the nature of the ICISS’s Responsibility to Protect report and its statement of core responsibilities. By picking out flaws in the 'Belligerents Rebuild Thesis' proposed by Owen Jones, he surmises that it is perhaps unfair to place the burden of rebuilding a community on the same actors who intervened in the first place.

This said, Dr Gallagher concludes the article by stating that the idea of assigning blame for the consequent problems in Libya is ineffectual – “If the international community simply stands back and blames France, the US and the UK, that will do nothing for the people of Libya. They will be victims not only of mass violence, but also of international stubbornness.”

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