Weak States and Political Grievances: Understanding the Causes of the Second Libyan Civil War
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Since 2014, Libya has re-descended into civil war, albeit amongst different lines. Important to finding a political solution to the conflict is understanding its origins. This research seeks to explain the causes of the Second Libyan Civil War through current theoretical understandings of civil war causes. This research is split into two broad sections: the first concerning the environment in which the Second Libyan Civil War could occur, and the second focused on the motivations that moved involved parties to war. It is found that Libya's state of anocracy, or general state weakness, was the environment that allowed the conflict to occur, and political grievances, particularly of the nation's Islamists, that motivated the involved parties to war. It also found that oil played an indirect role in the conflict, specifically warping the economy to promote militia membership as one of the few viable livelihoods available. These conclusions bear relevance to policymakers as it demonstrates that a strong state apparatus and political inclusion are key to the avoidance of future conflict in the country.About James RatcliffJames Lincoln Ratcliff is a senior pursing a dual degree in International Security and Arabic with a minor in Intelligence and National Security Studies at the University of Oklahoma. James is also a part of the OU Arabic Flagship program and currently works as the Flagship's Program Assistant. He intends to study abroad for a year in Meknes, Morocco, following graduation as a part of the Arabic Flagship curriculum. He has a strong interest in the politics and history of North Africa.