From ‘armed liberalism’ and R2P to statebuilding
Chapter 5 , From ‘armed liberalism’ and R2P to statebuilding examines the events leading up to regime change in Iraq and Libya. The analysis highlights the different approaches informing the interventions in Iraq and Libya. On the one hand, a faltering Western project of imposed regime change driven by the imperatives of the War on Terror led to the application of ‘armed liberalism’ in Iraq and a consequent heavy footprint statebuilding intervention. On the other hand, a popular initiative channelling years of oppression and subjugation into a mobilisation for change was met by the application of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) in Libya and followed by a light footprint external involvement in the country. These differences show that there has been a change in the instruments of statebuilding between Iraq and Libya. However, the chapter indicates that the underpinning worldviews remained anchored to a formal, Weberian, and neoliberal notion of the state, which stood at odds with the unfolding process of state formation.