Date of Completion

Spring 4-28-2014

Thesis Advisor(s)

Cyrus Zirakzadeh

Honors Major

Political Science


International Relations


Sultanistic regimes can be classified as a government structure that blends authoritarianism and democracy. Sultans use democratic institutions—political parties, elections, and general assemblies—to advance their personal policies over their citizens’ interests. This results in oppression of citizens. The Libyan Civil War of 2011 serves as a paradigmatic case that illustrates three conditions that help citizens destabilize this type of regime. I explored these conditions and their sequence to illustrate how sultanistic regimes can be overthrown. I conclude that the mixture of international assistance, military support, and civil society groups create the opportunity for a successful revolution.