Rogue statehood in international society
: The case of Libya

  • Chris Curran

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


This thesis is about how Libya‟s rogue statehood was constructed and contested in international society. It provides a detailed examination of Libya‟s relationship with key actors in international society, such as the US and European and African states, and international society‟s main institutions, in order to uncover the dynamics of the roguing process, which is often oversimplified by the existing literature on rogue states. I draw on constructivist methodology
(particularly with regard to the concept of “framing”), and the insights of the English School on international society, to articulate my argument. The thesis is concerned with two key questions: How did states (particularly the US) construct and contest Libyan rogue statehood? And, how did this process function in relation to the existing institutions of international society? The thesis argues that the roguing of Libya developed as a quasi-institution of international society as the US fixed the meaning of Libya as a rogue state, based on the characteristics of terrorism, regional belligerence and the pursuit of weapons of mass destruction, to the practice of delegitimising its participation in international society. However, this was unsustainable over the longer term because the existing institutions of international society (such as diplomacy,
international law, war and great power management) provided substantial resources to contest the roguing process and undermine practices of international isolation. The roguing and deroguing of Libya remained dynamic throughout, and was determined as much by the way in which states chose to use the institutions of international society as it was by the composition of
the institutions themselves.
Date of Award2011
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Aberystwyth University
SupervisorHidemi Suganami (Supervisor) & Peter Darron Jackson (Supervisor)

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