The importance of radical ideology in the Sahel and Maghreb stems from its instrumental value and normative commitments. For rebel leaders, radical ideology helps their groups recruit and stand out from the rest of the pack.
Without a firm constitutional basis, early elections in Libya would not only produce a government whose legitimacy is contested even more widely, but also leave the door open for another strongman to rise to power.
It has long been an axiom among the rulers of each Maghrebi country to brandish their rhetorical commitment to regional integration while often-shamelessly suffocating the principles and prospects of unity.
Meddeb is a nonresident scholar at the Carnegie Middle East Center, where his research focuses on economic reform as well as the political economy of conflicts and border insecurity across the Middle East and North Africa.