ANTH 423, Dr. Maximilian Forte, Dept. of Sociology & Anthropology, Concordia University

Session 5: October 5, 2016

The Problem of Democracy: Libya

Lecture points:

  • Videos [see below]
  • The Green Book: Principles of a Model
  • The Other Sides of Libyan Participatory Democracy
    • Gaddafi and Leadership
    • On political parties in Libya
    • Popular Congresses and the Jamahiriya
    • Revolution within the Revolution
    • “Rule” and “Revolution”
    • Resulting Structure of Libyan Politics?
  • US Diplomatic Cables On Libya: Notes on the Basic and General People’s Congresses
  • Free Speech in Libya pre-2011?
  • Libyan Opinions on Multi-Party Electoral Democracy

Lecture Presentation

Reading Questions


  • BBC: Libya and Gaddafi in 1976
  • BBC: Libya and Gaddafi in 1979
  • CBS: Libya and Gaddafi in 1980

Required Reading:

Book 1: The Solution of the Problem of Democracy: The Authority of the People. In: Gaddafi, Muammar. (1977). The Green Book.

The following chapters from: August, Arnold. (2013). Cuba and Its Neighbours: Democracy in Motion. Blackpoint, NS: Fernwood Publishing.
→ See Section 6 in the syllabus: Required Texts

Chapter 1: Democracy and U.S.-Centrism, 2-13
Chapter 2: Democracy in the U.S., 14-44
Chapter 3: Exploring Democracies in Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador, 45-74


Paley, Julia. (2002). “Toward an Anthropology of Democracy”. Annual Review of Anthropology, 31, 469-496.