A PhD thesis concerning the transition in the Fezzan from colonial rule by the Italians to the immediate post-colonial administration by the French has recently been completed.
Palmieri, Tomasso. Étude comparative de l’administration militaire de l’Italie et de la France au Fezzan libyen. Un cas de modèle colonial en continuité (1930-1951). Ph.D. dissertation Aix-Marseille Université / Università di Pisa (2015). [PDF, in French]
Abstract: The goal of the present research is to analyze the structural development of a brief colonial presence. Beginning from a comparative historical study, it describes the process of installation, creation, and governance of a double European colonial administration: that of fascist Italy and of France, in the Fezzan region of the southwestern Libyan desert. We show, in a longue durée perspective, how the urgency of controlling the Sahara’s extensive spaces deteremines, from the Empire’s perspective, the strategic necessity of creating a colonial macro-region to be directed solely by the military. The kernel of this thesis analyzes both the manner in which the structures of these administrations were conceived and put in place by European militaries and their real impact on the region’s social fabric. Finally, by way of conclusion we evoke elements of rupture and continuity throughout the two experiences and the consequences of colonial administrative actions in terms of independent Libya’s identity formation.