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Recent events in the Middle East and North Africa offer many lessons, including the role of emerging technologies (e.g., social media) in dissent, conflict and negotiation, and even ethical issues. The rebellion against Col. Moammar Gadhafi’s Libyan government offers another case – that of how an emerging alternate government organizes itself. Members of the Transitional National Council have been just as busy establishing a new government as they have organizing forces to confront Col. Gadhafi’s troops.


  1. While many of the uprisings in recent months appear to be haphazard, the rebellion in Libya seems to have more structure to it. Review the definition for organizing and the managerial tasks associated with it. In a general way, describe how the events described in the article are consistent with what you know about organizing.
  2. Do the actions by the Transitional National Council represent an attempt to create a formal structure? Why or why not? Why might it be important for this group to have a formal structure?
  3. While the rebels are fighting against an established hierarchical and mechanistic structure (i.e., the Gadhafi regime), they are at the same time attempting to move from an organic structure to a more mechanistic structure. How so? Why is this necessary?
  4. The provisional constitution and the promise to develop a broader, permanent constitution once Gadhafi is removed seems to have empowerment as a key feature. Furthermore, the current rebel leaders indicate they are willing to give way (delegate) to younger leaders. Why is this important in a new Libya?

SOURCE: C. Levinson, “Libya Rebels Build Parallel State,” Wall Street Journal (Retrievable online at

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