This study aims to explain the driving forces behind the development of accounting regulatory institutions in post-colonial Libya.
The historical method is used to interpret relevant documentary evidence in the development of accounting in Libya vis-à-vis developments in the country’s post-colonial political-economic history.
The development of accounting regulation in Libya is traced to post-colonial political-economic history that occurred independent of the country’s colonial past. The immediate aftermath of colonialism (1951-1968) showed that Western accounting practices used by Western businesses operating in Libya were imbued by pro-Western ideology. Basic legislative requirements for accounting and auditing emerged during this period through legislation. Two distinct epochs surfaced during Muammar Gaddafi’s rule: initially, the state advocated a centrally planned economy, but in the 1980s, an ideological shift occurred, which opened the Libyan economy to the global market. The first epoch saw the formation of accounting regulatory agencies consistent with the state-centred organisation of society, and the second epoch engendered the development of accounting standards consistent with the developments in market-centred societies during the era of globalisation.
The study offers unique historical evidence on the development of accounting regulation in a developing country independent of its colonial history. The study enhances our understanding of how the interplay between the political economy and the ideological basis of the state determines the historical path of accounting as a basis for predicting the possible future direction of accounting development.
The authors gratefully acknowledge the comments received from the anonymous reviewer and participants of the Seventh Accounting History International Conference, Seville, Spain, 25-27 September 2013, and Dr Connie Zheng.
Alferjani, M., Mirshekary, S., Dellaportas, S., Mihret, D.G. and Yaftian, A. (2018), "Development of accounting regulatory institutions in Libya (1951-2006)", Accounting Research Journal, Vol. 31 No. 2, pp. 267-283. https://doi.org/10.1108/ARJ-01-2015-0007Download as .RIS
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