In This Review
The State and Social Transformation in Tunisia and Libya, 1830-1980

The State and Social Transformation in Tunisia and Libya, 1830-1980

By Lisa Anderson

Princeton University Press, 1986, 325 pp.

The character of politics in Tunisia and in Libya is not determined solely or even primarily by the fact that the one has been ruled by a European-oriented moderate and the other by a "madman." The relation between state and society is a key element in Third World development, with the state often the engine of social change; as Lisa Anderson's solid monograph shows, one of the reasons for Libya's problems after independence was the void left by the Italian colonial administration, which destroyed the earlier institutional structure. One would have liked to see a more extensive description and critique of Qaddafi's governmental, or anti-governmental, system in theory and practice than the author provides.