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The war and the economy: the gradual destruction of Libya

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This article questions dominant analyses about Libya’s present ‘war economy’ and ‘statelessness’, which are often deployed to explain the country’s ongoing destruction. By reinterpreting the history of the past as the failure of Libya to implement neoliberal reforms, these accounts trivialise its anti-imperialist history. The article reflects on the role that war and militarism play in the US-led imperialist structure, tracing the gradual unmaking of Libya from the progressive revolutionary era, towards its transformation into a comprador state and an outpost for global class war. In doing so, it moves the focus away from Libya’s ‘war economy’ to examine the war and the economy, linking Libya’s fate to the geo-economic and geopolitical forces at the core of US-led imperialism.




Capasso, M. (2020). The war and the economy: the gradual destruction of Libya. Review of African Political Economy, 47(166), 545–567.

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