This paper examines the unsuccessful efforts to instigate a National Dialogue in Libya over 2011-14. It uses the Libyan case to hypothesise that for National Dialogues to be successful, the context and conditions under which they are inaugurated must be favourable, and seeks to identify what conditions in Libya combined to cause its early efforts to falter. The paper first analyses what conditions existed in Libya 2011-14 and why they led to the view that a National Dialogue was necessary. It then addresses the conditions under which the National Dialogue was established, and also analyses the various alternatives to National Dialogue mooted during this time. In its conclusion, the paper attempts to extract what lessons or principles can be drawn from the Libyan case that are of relevance to future National Dialogue design processes, and to the case literature on this mechanism.
Felix-Anselm van Lier
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