بشير الكوت الأكاديمية الليبية- طرابلس
The dissonant relationship between democracy and the tribe in Libya
Prof. Bashir A. Alkut, Head of Political Science Department, Libyan Academy.
Studying the subject of democracy in Libya will undoubtedly lead to its relationship with the tribe (Qabyla). Although democracy is a political issue and the tribe is a social one, it cannot be separated in practice. The past experience since the independence of Libya (December 24, 1951) confirms that the tribe remained in the depths of the political scene, especially with regard to democracy. Is it possible to talk about a pure democracy that is not affected by the tribal dimension in a tribal society like the Libyan society? If we accept the interaction of the tribal dimension with democracy, to what extent does the tribe exercise its influence on the democratic process in Libya?
Since independence and despite the Libyan state’s passing through three different stages (the kingdom stage, the Gaddafi stage and the contemporary stage) the tribe has not been declared as a destination or a means to compete with democracy, but the tribe remained the influential dimension in the democratic practice in the three stages. This is the hypothesis that the study seeks to verify its credibility during the past seventy years since the independence of Libya.