chapter
Governance in Libya
ByRoger Owen
Pages 11

At the end of 2011 Libya still had had only 60 years of an independent and united existence, having been founded by the United Nations (UN) in December 1951 out of three separate parts—Cyrenaica in the east, Tripolitania in the west and the Fezzan in the south. Like many post-World War II independent states, Libya came into existence suddenly and unexpectedly, with a small and scattered population, limited resources and only the briefest history of unitary administration. Libya moves from being a ward of the international community to an independent system of royal power. Libya was subject to a cult of personality that rapidly developed around its charismatic new leader and his central role as instigator of a series of political experiments, notably the introduction of a form of political mobilization involving popular, and then revolutionary, congresses under the slogan 'power to the people'.