Anthony Giddens on Gaddafi in The Guardian in March 2007.
As one-party states go, Libya is not especially repressive. Gadafy seems genuinely popular. Our discussion of human rights centred mostly upon freedom of the press…
Will real progress be possible only when Gadafy leaves the scene? I tend to think the opposite. If he is sincere in wanting change, as I think he is, he could play a role in muting conflict that might otherwise arise as modernisation takes hold. My ideal future for Libya in two or three decades’ time would be a Norway of North Africa: prosperous, egalitarian and forward-looking. Not easy to achieve, but not impossible.
[Update: Clive Barnett sets this quote in a wider context, including Benjamin Barber's comments, here]
Update 2: another piece from Giddens on Gadaffi and Libya from 2006 here.