Haala Hweio

Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Hannagan, Rebecca J. (Rebecca Jean)

Degree Name

Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy)

Legacy Department

Department of Political Science


Libya--Politics and government--1969-; Arab Spring; 2010-; Women--Libya; Women--Arab countries


Several uprisings against some long-term dictatorships in the Arab region took place during the year of 2011. The phenomenon, commonly known as the Arab Spring, started in December 2010 in Tunisia, a small North African Arabic country that was going through tough economic times. The domino effect of the Tunisian revolution spread quickly through the region. Almost all Arab countries witnessed political unrest and protests demanding reforms, but in a few of them--- Egypt, Libya, Syria, and Yemen---the situation escalated to the level of popular revolution. The Arab Spring phenomenon opened the door for studies on collective behavior and revisiting social movements literature. However, most of the studies conducted on the Arab uprising events focus, for the most part, on the collective action of the Arab Spring societies as a whole. Moreover, the scholarly work on the early stages of the uprisings focused largely on the military role in the unfolding events and the role played by social media. In this research study, however, I examine the phenomenon from a different perspective. I focus on the role of a particular agent in the society by analyzing women's political and civic involvement in Libya, one of the Arab Spring countries, during the revolution against the dictatorship regime of Mu'ammar Gaddafi in 2011. Libyan women played a significant role in initiating the uprising and throughout the events of the revolution. Furthermore, my research highlights the ongoing dynamics and challenges Libyan women to maintain the gains they made through their participation in the revolution. This analysis is placed in the context of the social movement theory literature, as it provides a much-needed study of women's political and civic involvement in contemporary Libya.


Advisors: Rebecca Hannagan.||Committee members: Michael Clark; Diane Rodgers.||Includes bibliographical references.


viii, 159 pages




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