orgtheory.net

libya: this is what ‘virtual democracy’ looks like

An interesting article on the relationship between Saif al-Islam Gaddafi and the London School of Economics.  Gaddafi wrote his Ph.D. thesis there on “how to create more just and democratic global governing institutions.”  Later, the LSE “accepted £1.5m from the Gaddafi International Charity and Development Foundation, an organisation headed by Saif – some of which was to finance “a virtual democracy centre.'” The selfsame Gaddafi, of course, has threatened civil war and to “fight to the last minute, until the last bullet” if the rabble-rousers don’t stop their rabble-rousing. (Human Rights Watch has confirmed 233 dead as of Monday, though other estimates are more than double that figure). Knowledge may be power, but power can always buy knowledge or at least its patina.

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Written by shehzadnadeem

February 22, 2011 at 4:24 pm

19 Responses

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  1. LSE-Egg-On-Face. I wonder how they’ll clear this mess up.

    Like

    Jon

    February 22, 2011 at 4:36 pm

  2. Does LSE have a long standing with educating the children of tyrants?

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    fabiorojas

    February 22, 2011 at 4:46 pm

  3. It certainly has a long history of educating the children of the international business elite…

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    LM

    February 22, 2011 at 6:01 pm

  4. LSE = Let Saif Erupt

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    Angelos

    February 22, 2011 at 6:34 pm

  5. Saif received his PhD from the LSE in 2008 so they’ll probably turn around and say that the UK was ‘friends’ with Gaddafi at that point.

    From 2004 I gather it was ok to like Gaddafi http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/3566545.stm after he became a ‘reformed’ character. Obviously, his deals with the west around that point had nothing to do with the very serious opposition forming within Lydia wanting the guy out. As well as having nothing to do with his weakening power that resulted from the collapse of the Soviet Union…

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    Jon

    February 22, 2011 at 6:52 pm

  6. Oppps Lydia should be Libya! Damn phones hehe

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    Jon

    February 22, 2011 at 6:53 pm

  7. Does LSE have a long standing with educating the children of tyrants?

    No, that’s Oxford.

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    Kieran

    February 22, 2011 at 6:55 pm

  8. “Locke saw people as being able to live together in the state of nature under natural law, irrespective of the policies of the state. This self-sufficiency of society, outside the control of the state, was given weight by the growing power of the economic sphere which was considered part of civil society, not the state. The state is therefore constructed out of, and given legitimacy by, society, which also retains the authority to dissolve the government if it acted unjustly. Other writers continued with this distinction of civil society and government. The state kept its function of maintaining law and order that Hobbes had stressed, but was considered to be separate from society, and the relationship between the two of them was seen to be subject to laws that gained their legitimacy from society, not from the state. For example, Montesquieu saw the state as the governor and society as the governed, with civil law acting as the regulator of the relationship. The importance of law in regulating the way the state and society interacted was obvious to many writers who considered that a government that did not recognise the limitations of law would extend to become an over-reaching tyranny similar to that described by Hobbes in Leviathan.” (Gadaffi, 2007, p.41)

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    axel

    February 22, 2011 at 8:13 pm

  9. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by carmen netzel, ah0y. ah0y said: An interesting article on the relationship between Saif al-Islam Gaddafi and the London School of Economics.  Ga… http://bit.ly/gEeMn2 [...]

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  10. I have to say, when I first read about the Saif-LSE connection, I was put off. I taught there earlier in my career and I would say that the LSE has done a good — but not great — job of navigating the treacherous waters of attracting lots of foreign students (and, more importantly, their money) while maintaining its integrity as an institution dedicated to serious scholarship. On first glance, this story seems like it is a stumble along that path: LSE accepts millions from dictator’s son; dictator’s son turns out to be power-hungry.

    But, the more I think about it, was it really wrong for the LSE to want to built a bridge into this backward country? To attempt to educate one person — the dauphin of Libya — who might be able to lead the country toward a closer relationship with the west? Sure, with hindsight, it seems that change in the middle east will come through a revolutionary wave; a jolt. But there was no way of foreseeing that and the LSE (along with lots and lots of other western institutions) made the calculation that there was a high likelihood that change would come incrementally. So why not take the money and admit Saif, educate him and forge a relationship that would allow the LSE to play a role in Libya over the long term?

    Lets not be so quick to judge.

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    seansafford

    February 23, 2011 at 4:02 pm

  11. “Does LSE have a long standing with educating the children of tyrants?”

    Did a brother of Bin Ladin attend USC?

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    Guillermo

    February 23, 2011 at 4:33 pm

  12. A number of LSE students occupied the senior common room and demanded that the school of governmance pays back the money they received.

    Also, it has emerged that Saif hired spies to conduct some of his dissertation ‘research’. I wonder how he justified that in the methodology.

    Like

    Jon

    February 23, 2011 at 6:42 pm

  13. “the LSE (along with lots and lots of other western institutions) made the calculation that there was a high likelihood that change would come incrementally. So why not take the money and admit Saif, educate him and forge a relationship that would allow the LSE to play a role in Libya over the long term?” – is there any evidence that Western universities (as organizations) make/have made these kinds of calculations, as opposed to simply being willing to educate anyone who comes along (funding/qualifications allowing)? It would imply an interesting self perception (of Universities as some kind of political change makers) rather than the idea that Unis are simply global businesses, out to make money.
    Incidentally, the acceptance of Libyan money and Saif Qaddafi as an individual student was opposed by a number of LSE members of staff, including Professor Fred Halliday, so it would intersting to know how the LSE justifed these decisions.

    Like

    Adam Hedgecoe

    February 23, 2011 at 6:43 pm

  14. [...] Political Theory of Saif al-Islam Gaddafi by Kieran Healy on 22 February 2011 Via Shehzad Nadeem at OrgTheory comes this report on Muammar el-Gaddafi’s son and the Ph.D in Political Theory he wrote at the [...]

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  15. Khadafy familly has a long relationship with a UK business man named Jack Richards and it is his daughter who actually wrote the thesis for Saif, roumors say she is also one of his mistresses.
    So he should be stripped from his PhD title and the School should be sanctioned.
    Jack Richards has made a fortune doing illegal trade with Libya during the blockade, he has supplied the weapons killing the Libyan people!

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    Pete

    February 27, 2011 at 1:12 pm

  16. A sociologist from Oxford was in a small but interesting way involved in Saif’s doctoral application:
    link

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    Valerio

    March 2, 2011 at 5:37 am

  17. Update: the THES website has a story abt the continuing fall out at the LSE over the school’s links with Libya:

    http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/story.asp?sectioncode=26&storycode=415393&c=1

    Like

    Adam Hedgecoe

    March 3, 2011 at 6:52 pm

  18. LSE director resigns:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-12642636

    Like

    shehzadnadeem

    March 4, 2011 at 4:54 am


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