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The 2011 crisis in Libya represented the first case in which the international community invoked the principle of the ‘responsibility to protect’ in order to justify taking coercive measures. In a new study published by Cambridge University Press, Karin Wester provides a unique analysis of the evolving Libyan crisis and the international community’s response.

Detail Summary
Date 4 September 2020
Time 17:00 - 18:30

Drawing on a wide variety of sources including in-depth interviews with politicians and diplomats, Wester identifies essential lessons to be learned about the concept, application, and implications of the responsibility to protect. She also demonstrates that Libya’s descent into chaos after the intervention was not predestined, but rather the result of decisions taken and conditions prevailing in the subsequent years. The author presents the main findings of her book Intervention in Libya. The Responsibility to Protect in North Africa, followed by a discussion on the on-going impacts of the intervention today for the EU’s relations with the region.

About the speakers

Karin Wester has been working for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands for over twenty years in a variety of positions, focusing on multilateral cooperation, human rights, peace and security, and the Middle East. She is currently the Strategic Policy Adviser for the Middle East and North Africa of the Ministry.

Tarek Megerisi is a Policy Fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations. He is a leading expert on Libyan affairs and more generally politics, governance and development in the Arab world and relations with the EU.

Gerard Steeghs is the Director of the Department for Multilateral Organizations and Human Rights of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands. He previously served as Ambassador of the Netherlands to Libya (2010-2012), Ambassador to Egypt (2012 -2016), and as Special Envoy to Syria (2016-2019).

Luiza Bialasiewicz (moderator) is Professor of European Governance at the University of Amsterdam and academic co-director of ACES. Her research has examined the out-sourcing of EU migration controls to Libya as well as the broader geopolitics of migration in the Mediterranean.

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