chapter  6
23 Pages

Gone is the ‘one man in command’

ByIrene Costantini

Chapter 6 , Gone is the ‘one man in command’ investigates the contradictions between statebuilding and state formation with reference to the evolution of representation and political authority in Iraq and Libya. It examines how Iraq and Libya came to experience a condition whereby political authority is loosely attached to the state and representation rests on a sense of state citizenship that has been undermined by other forms of allegiances. Iraq and Libya went through similar processes of political fragmentation, the establishment of exclusionary politics and, as a result of them, a further detachment of state authority from its citizens. These processes have evolved differently in Iraq and Libya: in Iraq they reflected and contributed to strengthen a competition between groups over the control of the state; in Libya they created a condition whereby stateness, the exercise of state functions, has come to reside outside the state. In both countries the proliferation of state projects has defied the project of statebuilding and with it the notion of a formal, Weberian and neoliberal state.