Adam, Salah A. 2022. Multiple attitudes and shifting language ideologies: a case of language shift among Libyan Tuaregs. International Journal of the Sociology of Language. 278, 229–258. [paywall]
Abstract: This paper examines the pivotal role of ideologies in a case of language shift from Targia to Libyan Arabic among Libyan Tuaregs in the south–western region of Libya. I argue that foundational ideologies, the opposed and hierarchical linguistic relationship between Arabic and Targia, a southern Amazigh variety, and ideological elision, the process of shifting the meanings associated with Classical and Modern Standard Arabic (CA, MSA) to Libyan Arabic (LA) (e.g., religious piety), eventually have driven the changes in the linguistic behavior of the Tuareg people towards the attachment to Libyan Arabic and at the expense of Targia. The data is drawn from a fieldwork conducted on two Libyan Tuareg communities, Ghat and Barkat. The former is a multi-ethnic town while the latter is a village composed of only Tuaregs. The sample is comprised of 221 participants (114 from Brakat and 107 from Ghat), balanced by gender and divided into three age groups. A combination of qualitative and quantitative approaches was employed for data collection and analysis. The statistical analysis showed that age group has the most significant effect on the reported use of Targia, followed by type of community and the interactive effect of both variables.
de Lange, Yentl. 2022. Understanding drivers of migration: a preliminary case study of Libyan Tuareg. The Journal of North African Studies. Online [paywall].
Abstract: In this preliminary case study, the aspirations capabilities model is applied to interviews conducted with Libyan Tuareg to confirm and develop ongoing theories on migration drivers. This article examines both migration theory, as well as the social, economic, and legal situation of Tuareg in Libya. Within the context of problems to achieve citizenship among some Libyan Tuareg, the notion of statelessness is assessed as an aspiration and capability that influences migration outcomes. This study confirmed that the general life ambitions of an individual are at the basis of aspirations to migrate and that migration functions as a vehicle to fulfil personal ambitions. The article stresses that the connection to the homeland is a factor that influences migration decision-making, which should be understood outside of citizenship. Moreover, this study observed the awareness of the aspirations and capabilities of acquaintances as a factor that influences migration aspirations.
*If anyone would like a copy of these articles, please feel free to contact me.*
Back for your seasonal research roundup, containing sources on several totally un/under-researched areas.
After the Tunisian popular revolution of 2011, and during the civil war in Libya that followed, roadside stands near the Tunisian–Libyan bor- der near Remada, Tunisia sold nationalist souvenirs of the revolution with the reinstated Libyan flag (first flown from 1951 to 1969) as well as the Tunisian flag1. Post–independence governments in North Africa have been deeply invested in enforcing the borders they inherited from colonial regimes. Even when borders «were originally “artificial” creations, they have long since become an integral part of the lives of borderlanders. . . borders have an impact on social identities and have come to “demarcate mental space”» (Nugent and Asiwaju 1996, p. 10 in Lentz 2003, p. 274). International borders, for many people, are deeply meaningful and naturalized through socialization in school lessons, bureaucratic administrative procedures, economic systems, and even children’s play. In refugee camps and shelters on the Tunisian side of the border, Libyan children made homemade flags to decorate their temporary dwelling spaces. While «borders and borderlands define ourselves and others» (Lloyd et al 2010, p. 703 and Paasi 2003), a border in and of itself means nothing without human mediation, notably in the dual forms of policing and narration. As I explain in this article, during the first years of the Libyan civil war, the selves and others people were mediating were not only national — Tunisian and Libyan — but also ethnic: minority Amazigh (Berber) and majority Arab.
Historically, connections between southern Libya and northern Chad have always been close, if only due to the fundamental need for connectivity that characterises most Saharan economies. Drawing on so far mostly inaccessible archival records and oral history, this article outlines the implications of this proximity, arguing that it led to intimate entanglements within families and an ongoing confusion of property rights. This in turn resulted in increased rather than diminished hostility during the years of war that opposed the two countries, as people attempted to define uncertain boundaries, and were – and still are – competing for access to similar resources, moral, symbolic, social, and economic.
This article will challenge the currently accepted notions of weak British consular presence, influence and activity in the southern Mediterranean during the period 1795–1832 through a case study of the careers of three successive consuls in the Regency of Tripoli: Simon Lucas, William Wass Langford and Hanmer Warrington. Utilising the official cor- respondence of these agents, the extent of the consular bridgehead in the capital, Tripoli, will be investigated, and how, through these consular and diplomatic agents, it served to define imperial interests and activity at the frontiers of empire. Moreover, the overlapping personal and professional networks within which the consuls embedded themselves, the role of enterprising missions and the development of an intelligence-gathering network will be of central significance in understanding the consequent ruptures in the social and political fabric of the Regency of Tripoli. British imperial interest in North Africa during and immediately post the Napoleonic era remains under-studied and misunder- stood within both British diplomatic and imperial history. This article challenges the exist- ing literature that underestimates the diplomatic as well as consular power exercised by the British consuls to Algiers, Tunis and Tripoli, as well as the importance of these three Barbary regencies to wider strategic interests in the Mediterranean.
Zarrugh, Amina. ‘You Exile them in their Own Countries’: The Everyday Politics of Reclaiming the Disappeared in Libya. Middle East Critique 27(3), pp. 247–259.
Located in Libya’s capital city of Tripoli, Abū Salīm Prison has become suspended in Libya’s national collective memory as the site of a contested prison killing in 1996. During the late 1980s and early 1990s, the prison hosted many prisoners of conscience, namely individuals who forcibly had been disappeared because security personnel suspected them of opposing the regime of Mu’amar Qadhdhafi. Drawing on interviews with their family members, I trace how Libyan families contested the state’s violence and forced disappearance through everyday behaviors, such as inquiring about their relatives’ whereabouts and visiting Abū Salīm Prison. The article contributes to an ongoing discussion within sociology, anthropology, and area studies about the significance of small-scale acts of resistance as forms of political action. Disappearance not only pulled people apart, but also brought them together, often around the same spaces that were intended to disenfranchise them.
For a change, an article which looks, at least in part, at the Libyan south (and is open-access!):
Tabib, Rafaa. 2015. Mobilized publics in Post-Qadhafi Libya: the emergence of new modes of popular protest in Tripoli and Ubari. Mediterranean Politics 21(1), pp. 86–106
As the formal transformation process in Libya faltered and political and local elites were locked in contestation over shares of power and resources, spaces opened for non-formal movements of citizens pushing to exert influence on the political sphere, and to pursue their interests vis-à-vis state institutions with hitherto unknown forms of contentious action. This article investigates two distinctively different examples of such initiatives: on the one hand, the movement against militia rule and the extension of the mandate of the General National Congress (GNC) that emerged in Tripoli in the fall of 2013 and organized demonstrations for new elections throughout the spring of 2014. On the other, a movement for more equitable access to resources and citizenship rights that emerged in the provincial town of Ubari in the Fezzan region and gained momentum in late 2013 through the (largely peaceful) disruption of oil production. The chapter argues that through their mobilization capacities and innovative forms of contentious action, both movements compelled political and institutional actors to recognize mobilized publics as a force to reckon with, and modify the ways they interact with citizens and the general public.